In the present study, differences in visuospatial attention lateralization were evaluated in athletes engaged in open- compared to closed-skill sports and sedentary nonathletes. 23 volleyball players (open skill; Italian national level and regional level), 10 rowers (closed skill, Italian national level), and 23 sedentary participants responded to a computerized line-length judgment task. Five lines, differing in the length of their right and left segments, were randomly presented; the respondent made a forced-choice decision about the respective length of the two segments. Volleyball players responded significantly faster; those at the higher competitive level were also more accurate, making a statistically significantly lower number of leftward errors as compared with rowers and controls. If such responses are due to training rather than self-selection of ability, then the results may suggest the possibility of changing the distribution of visuospatial attention by training in open-skill sports.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2466/05.22.27.PMS.112.3.915-925