Abstract

From theory to practice: A framework for attention training through technology

Presenters:
Jeffrey Coleman, United States Military Academy, USA
Andrew Vincent, Springfield College, USA
Angela Fifer, United States Military Academy, USA
Joanna Foss, University of Denver, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: WKSP-10

Presentation: October 2, 2013 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Room: Melrose

Abstract:

Attention has long been considered an important element of mental skills training for performance enhancement. The recent increase in prevalence of attention-based concepts such as mindfulness (Gardner & Moore, 2012) and implicit motor learning (Francsconi, 2011) in sport psychology literature increases the need for appropriate training strategies that bridge the gap between theory and practice. Furthermore, performance contexts such as sport and military often present individuals and groups with ambiguous and complex situations, which can complicate attention training for both the performer and practitioner. While cognitive behavioral techniques for teaching attention allow performers to understand important concepts, experiential techniques give performers an opportunity to train in a way that facilitates implicit learning and the transfer of skills to a performance setting (Kolb, 1984). The purpose of this workshop is to introduce a theoretically sound framework for attention training that provides pathways to effective training techniques. The learning objectives of this workshop will be achieved in two parts. First, participants will be introduced to a framework of attention for performance enhancement based on the neuropsychological paradigm (Knudsen, 2007) and attention bias modification (Bar-Hiam, 2010). A brief discussion of the framework’s testable propositions and an in depth explanation of its use as an instructional guide for attention training will be included. The second stage of the workshop will focus on the use of experiential techniques for attention training. Participants will be divided into groups that rotate among stations to maximize participant interaction and group discussion. Specifically, participants will have an opportunity to experience various ‘high tech’ visuomotor skill devices as well as more accessible ‘low tech’ alternatives. As a result, participants will leave the workshop with the understanding of a guiding framework of attention training and a variety of training techniques and creative ideas that can contribute to their own practice.

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