Athletes perform better when exposed to subliminal cues

Athletes perform better when exposed to subliminal cues
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New research has found that athletes who are exposed to subliminal visual cues during endurance exercise will perform significantly better.

Subliminal visual cues are , pictures or symbols which are unidentifiable in someone's conscious.

Conducted by Professor Samuele Marcora in collaboration with colleagues at Bangor University, the research discovered that athletes undergoing who were presented with positive subliminal cues, such as action-related words, including 'go' and 'energy," or were shown , were able to exercise significantly longer compared to those who were shown sad faces or inaction words.

The words and faces appeared on a digital screen—placed in front of the —for less than 0.02 seconds and were masked by other visuals, meaning they were unidentifiable to the participant's conscious.

This research is the first to demonstrate that subliminal visual cues can directly affect performance during exercise. Additionally, it confirms that the perception of how much effort someone thinks they are using can be altered during . This can then have a knock-on effect on their overall endurance capacity.

Professor Marcora is currently exploring ways in which this research could open up new possibilities for athletes to improve their performance during competitions by using technology, such as 'smart glasses," to provide positive subliminal cues.

"Non-conscious visual cues related to affect and action alter perception of effort and endurance performance" is published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.


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Athletes perform better when exposed to subliminal visual cues

More information: Anthony Blanchfield et al. Non-conscious visual cues related to affect and action alter perception of effort and endurance performance, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2014). DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00967
Journal information: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

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Citation: Athletes perform better when exposed to subliminal cues (2021, January 11) retrieved 18 January 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-athletes-exposed-subliminal-cues.html
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