Correlations between perceptual and motor performance tests in elite table tennis players


Introduction: Perceptual and motor performances are important basis to elite table tennis (TT) players. If a rapid perceptual speed could cooperate with good motor ability may lead to excellent performance in certain sports. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlations between perceptual and motor tests in elite TT players. Methods: Twenty-two elite TT players (11 males, 11 females) were recruited in this study. We measured TT players' eye-hand coordination with the Finger-Nose-Finger (FNF) task for both dominant and non-dominant hands to represent motor performances. Besides, the ability of attentional control with the Covert Orienting of Visual Attention (COVAT) and dynamic visual attention with Multiple Objects Tracking (MOT) tasks were measured to indicate the perceptual performances. Pearson correlation coefficient was conducted to examine the correlations between perceptual and motor tests. Results: The results revealed that the correlations among dominant and non-dominant test in FNF (r(20)= .86, p<0.001) and COVAT (r(20)= .44, p<0.05) were moderate to strong. In addition, there was a moderate negative correlation between track one target in the MOT tasks and the Inhibitory Reaction Time (IRT) in COVAT (r(20)= -.46, p<0.05). Conclusion: The negative correlation between MOT and IRT in COVAT reflect that the relations between attentional control and the dynamic visual attention are positive in TT players. Although there are no significant correlations between FNF and other perceptual tasks, future studies may focus on clarifying the associations among motor and perceptual abilities.

Acknowledgments: Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan financially supported the project: MOST 107-2627-H-028-001.