There are two main types of attention, directed attention, which is effortful and involuntary attention, which happens effortlessly. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that cognitive fatigue is caused by overuse of our directed attention during participation in competitive sports. ART also suggests that people can restore cognitive capacity and reverse the negative effects of cognitive fatigue by being exposed to nature. The present study tested ART with 16 male varsity soccer players at The College of Wooster. Cognitive performance was measured after participants completed a soccer practice and viewed images of either a natural (restorative) or urban (non-restorative) environment. Cognitive performance was measured by a Stroop task as well as by a soccer-specific attention task. Mood was measured using a Semantic Differential scale. The major finding of the study was that post-intervention, there was no difference between the restorative and non-restorative groups cognitive performance, indicating that viewing images of nature may not have reduced the effects of cognitive fatigue. This study has future implications for ART research, as it is likely that novice athletes would experience cognitive restoration, while more skilled players in the present study did not.
Mastrich, Zachary H., "Keeping Your Head in the Game: Examining Cognitive Recovery from the Effects of Physical and Mental Fatigue in Athletes" (2017). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7863.
Health Psychology | Psychology
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2017 Zachary H. Mastrich