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Concept: Performing arts


Social judgments are made on the basis of both visual and auditory information, with consequential implications for our decisions. To examine the impact of visual information on expert judgment and its predictive validity for performance outcomes, this set of seven experiments in the domain of music offers a conservative test of the relative influence of vision versus audition. People consistently report that sound is the most important source of information in evaluating performance in music. However, the findings demonstrate that people actually depend primarily on visual information when making judgments about music performance. People reliably select the actual winners of live music competitions based on silent video recordings, but neither musical novices nor professional musicians were able to identify the winners based on sound recordings or recordings with both video and sound. The results highlight our natural, automatic, and nonconscious dependence on visual cues. The dominance of visual information emerges to the degree that it is overweighted relative to auditory information, even when sound is consciously valued as the core domain content.

Concepts: Performing arts, Jazz in the Domain, Psychometrics, Concert, Musical instrument, Judgment, Performance, Music


The current investigation aimed to develop a valid specific field test to evaluate anaerobic physical performance in Aerobic Gymnastics athletes. We first designed the Specific Aerobic Gymnast Anaerobic Test (SAGAT), which included gymnastics-specific elements performed in maximal repeated sprint fashion, with a total duration of 80-90 s. In order to validate the SAGAT, three independent sub-studies were performed to evaluate the concurrent validity (Study I, n=8), the reliability (Study II, n=10) and the sensitivity (Study III, n=30) of the test in elite female athletes. In Study I, a positive correlation was shown between lower-body Wingate test and SAGAT performance (Mean power: p = 0.03, r = -0.69, CI: -0.94 to 0.03 and Peak power: p = 0.02, r = -0.72, CI: -0.95 to -0.04) and between upper-body Wingate test and SAGAT performance (Mean power: p = 0.03, r = -0.67, CI: -0.94 to 0.02 and Peak power: p = 0.03, r = -0.69, CI: -0.94 to 0.03). Additionally, plasma lactate was similarly increased in response to SAGAT (p = 0.002), lower-body Wingate Test (p = 0.021) and a simulated competition (p = 0.007). In Study II, no differences were found between the time to complete the SAGAT in repeated trials (p = 0.84; Cohen’s d effect size = 0.09; ICC = 0.97, CI: 0.89 to 0.99; MDC95 = 0.12 s). Finally, in Study III the time to complete the SAGAT was significantly lower during the competition cycle when compared to the period before the preparatory cycle (p < 0.001), showing an improvement in SAGAT performance after a specific Aerobic Gymnastics training period. Taken together, these data have demonstrated that SAGAT is a specific, reliable and sensitive measurement of specific anaerobic performance in elite female Aerobic Gymnastics, presenting great potential to be largely applied in training settings.

Concepts: Performing arts, Statistical power, Reliability, Aerobics, Statistical significance, Sport aerobics, Gymnastics, Effect size


This study aimed to investigate how singing while driving affects driver performance. Twenty-one participants completed three trials of a simulated drive concurrently while performing a peripheral detection task (PDT); each trial was conducted either without music, with participants listening to music, or with participants singing along to music. It was hypothesised that driving performance and PDT response times would be impaired, and that driver subjective workload ratings would be higher, when participants were singing to music compared to when there was no music or when participants were listening to music. As expected, singing while driving was rated as more mentally demanding, and resulted in slower and more variable speeds, than driving without music. Listening to music was associated with the slowest speeds overall, and fewer lane excursions than the no music condition. Interestingly, both music conditions were associated with slower speed-adjusted PDT response times and significantly less deviation within the lane than was driving without music. Collectively, results suggest that singing while driving alters driving performance and impairs hazard perception while at the same time increasing subjective mental workload. However, singing while driving does not appear to affect driving performance more than simply listening to music. Further, drivers' efforts to compensate for the increased mental workload associated with singing and listening to music by slowing down appear to be insufficient, as evidenced by relative increases in PDT response times in these two conditions compared to baseline.

Concepts: Music, Driver's license, Simulation, Performing arts, Performance, Affect


Background: Understanding the influence of stress on human performance is of theoretical and practical importance. An individual’s reaction to stress predicts their subsequent performance; with a ‘challenge’ response to stress leading to better performance than a ‘threat’ response. However, this contention has not been tested in truly stressful environments with highly skilled individuals. Furthermore, the effect of challenge and threat responses on attentional control during visuomotor tasks is poorly understood.Design: Thus, this study aimed to examine individual reactions to stress, and their influence on attentional control, among a cohort of commercial pilots performing a stressful flight assessment.Methods: Sixteen pilots performed an ‘engine failure on take-off’ scenario, in a high-fidelity flight simulator. Reactions to stress were indexed via self-report; performance was assessed subjectively (flight instructor assessment) and objectively (simulator metrics); gaze behaviour data were captured using a mobile eye tracker, and measures of attentional control were subsequently calculated (search rate, stimulus driven attention, and entropy).Results: Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that a threat response was associated with poorer performance and disrupted attentional control.Conclusion: The findings add to previous research showing that individual reactions to stress influence performance, and shed light on the processes through which stress influences performance.

Concepts: Flight training, Poverty, Leadership, Force, Scientific method, Performing arts, Regression analysis, Performance


We describe a course in musical acoustics that required undergraduate students to design and build unique musical instruments, compose music for ensembles of them, and then perform the compositions in a public concert. Unlike most courses in musical acoustics which require the students to build home-made instruments as a final project, the construction of the instrument and composing original music were the primary goals of the course. The instruments were required to be artistic, visually interesting and play a pitch collection from the Western scale. We will describe the challenges and successes, show examples of the instruments, and review the lessons learned.

Concepts: Performance, Musical composition, Design, Musical ensemble, Performing arts, Musical instrument, Sound, Music


Musical performance anxiety (MPA) refers to persistent and distressing apprehension associated with performing to an audience. Our objective was to assess the presence of MPA and other psychopathologies in musicians and find correlations between socio-demographic and clinical variables.

Concepts: Performing arts, Anxiety disorder, Anxiety, Psychology, Audience, Social anxiety, Performance, Music


The aim of the study is to compare the heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) responses as internal load indicators while performing duet routines during training and competition, both in the technical and free programs of synchronized swimming (SS). Participants were ten SS Olympic medalists (age: 17.4 ± 3.0 years, height: 164.0 ± 6.1 cm, body mass: 52.0 ± 6.4 kg, training: 36.3 ± 6.2 h·week, experience: 9.2 ± 2.6 years). They were monitored while performing the same technical duet (TD) or free duet (FD), during a training session (T) and during an official competition ©. HR was continuously monitored. RPE was assessed using the Borg CR10 scale. HR responses during T and C were almost identical: pre-exercise mean HR (beats·min) was 130.5 ± 13.9 (T) and 133.6 ± 7.7 ©, and quickly increased yielding mean peak values of 184.8 ± 5.8 (T) and 184.8 ± 6.6 ©, with interspersed bradycardic events down to 86.6 ± 4 (T) and 86.3 ± 5 ©. Routines were perceived as “hard” to “extremely hard” by the swimmers in both conditions, and mean RPE scores (0-10+) were equally high during C (7.9 ± 1.2) and T (7.5 ± 1.2) (P=0.223). RPE inversely correlated with minimum (R=-0.545; P=0.008) and mean HR(R=-0.452; P=0.026), and positively correlated with HR range (R=0.520; P=0.011). The internal load imposed by SS duets performed during training is virtually identical to that elicited in a real competitive situation. Therefore, practicing competitive routines is suitable for developing and maintaining the cardiovascular fitness that is needed for specific conditioning in elite synchronized swimmers, with the added value of favoring exercise automaticity, inter-individual coordination, and artistic expression simultaneously.

Concepts: Olympic sports, Can You Duet, Swimming, Borg, Performing arts, Lists of Olympic medalists, Value added, Synchronized swimming


Limits to athletic performance have long been a topic of myth and debate. However, sport performance appears to have reached a state of stagnation in recent years, suggesting that the physical capabilities of humans and other athletic species, such as greyhounds and thoroughbreds, cannot progress indefinitely. Although the ultimate capabilities may be predictable, the exact path for the absolute maximal performance values remains difficult to assess and relies on technical innovations, sport regulation, and other parameters that depend on current societal and economic conditions. The aim of this literature review was to assess the possible plateau of top physical capabilities in various events and detail the historical backgrounds and sociocultural, anthropometrical, and physiological factors influencing the progress and regression of athletic performance. Time series of performances in Olympic disciplines, such as track and field and swimming events, from 1896 to 2012 reveal a major decrease in performance development. Such a saturation effect is simultaneous in greyhound, thoroughbred, and frog performances. The genetic condition, exhaustion of phenotypic pools, economic context, and the depletion of optimal morphological traits contribute to the observed limitation of physical capabilities. Present conditions prevailing, we approach absolute physical limits and endure a continued period of world record scarcity. Optional scenarios for further improvements will mostly depend on sport technology and modification competition rules.

Concepts: Gene, Performing arts, Greyhound, Thoroughbred, Performance, Absolute


Caffeine can be beneficial during endurance and repeated sprint exercise in able-bodied individuals performing leg or whole-body exercise. However, little evidence exists regarding its effects during upper-body exercise. This study therefore aimed to investigate the effects of caffeine on sprint and 4 min maximal push (PUSH) performance in wheelchair sportsmen.

Concepts: Performing arts, Caffeine, Performance


The purpose of the present study was to monitor a diver’s ability to perform maximal face- immersion apnea throughout the competitive season. A male, world-class apnea diver was followed for 1 year (from March 2012 to March 2013). During this period he was tested six times. Each test session involved the measurements of the pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength. In addition, the ability to perform maximal face-immersion apnea was also explored. The results of face-immersion apnea durations showed a continuous improvement throughout the preparation period 1 with the peak in the main competition period and a decline during the competition period 2 and the transition period. It seemed that the training periodization was successful by producing the diver’s peak performance level at the main diving competition i.e. the 2012 AIDA Freediving World Championships. In conclusion, the study shows that changes in training interventions due to seasonal training periodization could be accompanied by changes in a diver’s ability to perform the maximal face-immersion apnea. However, further research is needed to establish the influences of individual components of apnea training on a diver’s performance.

Concepts: Performing arts, Periodization, Performance, Muscle, Oxygen, Free-diving, Heart, Time