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G. K. Hung, J. H. Williams, A. M. Harbeck, M. G. Thaker, K. J. Ciuffreda; Oculomotor Auditory Feedback Training Improves Putting Performance and Eye and Head Stability. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):754.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To expand on our previous smaller study (ARVO 2007, #903) on the effect of oculomotor auditory feedback training on putting performance and eye and head stability during the golf putting stroke, by including more subjects and with the hole at a greater putting distance.
Eleven novice golfers (9 male and 2 female) ranging in age from 20 to 24 years participated in the study. Eight of these served as experimental subjects, while three served as controls (i.e., without training). On the first day of the experiment, the subject putted without prior instructions other than to attempt to make the putt. At the end of the first day as well as at the beginning of the subsequent day, the subject was trained using an oculomotor auditory feedback regimen for 15 minutes. For the actual experiments, the task was to complete 100 putts (in two sessions over two days) to a standard size golf-hole 9 ft away. For each attempted putt, eye, head, and putter movements were recorded over a 3-sec period using a wireless sensor system. Eye movements were recorded using the infrared limbus reflection technique, and head and putter movements were recorded using onboard accelerometers. These signals were sent wirelessly to a laptop. The data were analyzed over the interval from the beginning of the putt to the moment of ball impact. The root mean square (RMS) values of the eye and head signals within this time interval were calculated for each record, and the data were averaged within and across subjects. All values were converted to equivalent cm of displacement on the putting surface. Putt amplitude, duration, and accuracy were also monitored.
Putting performance was significantly better (37.9% vs. 32.4%, p < 0.1), and the mean RMS values of the eye movements (3.20 cm vs. 3.63cm, p < 0.1) and head movements (3.85 cm vs. 4.44 cm, p > 0.1) were less (although not statistically significant for head movements), with oculomotor auditory feedback training. Putt amplitude and duration were not significantly different (p > 0.1). The control subjects showed no statistically significant difference between the first and second session for all the parameters.
Oculomotor auditory feedback training, in conjunction with normal visual feedback, improved eye and head stability during the golf putting stroke, as well as putting accuracy. This confirms the results of the previous smaller study, and suggests that multi-sensory eye position error-based information can be combined at higher neural centers to enhance oculomotor control.
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