Understanding perception and action in sport: How can virtual reality technology help?

Cathy Craig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)


Although technology can facilitate improvements in performance by allowing us to understand, monitor and evaluate performance, improvements must ultimately come from within the athlete. The first part of this article will focus on understanding how perception and action relate to performance from two different theoretical viewpoints. The first will be predominantly a cognitive or indirect approach that suggests that expertise and decision-making processes are mediated by athletes accruing large knowledge bases that are built up through practice and experience. The second, and alternative approach, will advocate a more 'direct' solution, where the athlete learns to 'tune' into the relevant information that is embedded in their relationship with the surrounding environment and unfolding action. The second part of the article will attempt to show how emerging virtual reality technology is revealing new evidence that helps us understand elite performance. Possibilities of how new types of training could be developed from this technology will also be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalSports Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07 Feb 2014


  • affordances
  • decision making
  • training
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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