Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Art, and Science (Sport Psychology, Adapted Physical Activity)
In sports settings, accurate perception of one’s surroundings, such as the position of a teammate or the ball, is a crucial component of performance. I have been studying the relationship between sound perception and motor skills mainly in soccer for the blind. I have found that blind soccer players can quickly and accurately localize sounds through their sporting experience and that they can localize the ball more accurately by turning their head toward the ball when trapping it.
Over the past few years, studies have reported that baseball and soccer players use head rotation to perceive the trajectory of the ball and the status of their surroundings under certain conditions. Studies have also found that when a sighted person walks while wearing a blindfold, he or she can accurately perceive the shape of a corridor by moving his/her head in an exploratory manner and listening for the echo. This suggests that such an approach would be an effective way to perceive an area in everyday situations.
In the future, there will presumably be further advancements in determining how head rotation affects the relationship between auditory and visual perception and motor performance in various sports settings as well as in daily life.