Expertise facilitates the transfer of anticipation skill across domains.
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It is unclear whether perceptual–motor skill transfer is based upon similarity between the learning and transfer domains per identical elements theory, or facilitated by an understanding of underlying principles in accordance with general principle theory. Here, the predictions of identical elements theory, general principle theory, and aspects of a recently proposed model for the transfer of perceptual–motor skill with respect to expertise in the learning and transfer domains are examined. The capabilities of expert karate athletes, near-expert karate athletes, and novices to anticipate and respond to stimulus skills derived from taekwondo and Australian football were investigated in ecologically valid contexts using an in situ temporal occlusion paradigm and complex whole-body perceptual–motor skills. Results indicated that the karate experts and near-experts are as capable of using visual information to anticipate and guide motor skill responses as domain experts and near-experts in the taekwondo transfer domain, but only karate experts could perform like domain experts in the Australian football transfer domain. Findings suggest that transfer of anticipation skill is based upon expertise and an understanding of principles but may be supplemented by similarities that exist between the stimulus and response elements of the learning and transfer domains.
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