Approximate Target Pre-Cueing Reduces Programming Quiet Eye and Movement Preparation Time: Evidence for Parameter Pre-Programming?

Robert R. Horn, Jonathan D. Marchetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: We examined the effect of target pre-cues on quiet eye duration (QED). If quiet eye (QE) represents the initial and only period for the programming of movement parameters, then the precision of target pre-cues should not affect QED. In contrast, shorter QED after pre-cueing of targets implies some initial programming process to have occurred before QE. Method: Sixteen participants threw darts at targets projected onto a soft screen. We manipulated the precision of target pre-cues by highlighting an area within which the target would appear. These pre-cued areas were either the full screen (i.e., no cue), any half, quarter, or sixteenth of the screen. Participants threw eight times in each condition. Dependent measures included QED (programming and online segments), movement preparation time (MPT; from target presentation to initiation of movement), and radial error (cm). Results: Analysis revealed that programming QE was shorter when the target was pre-cued in the most precise sixteenth condition, compared to the no cue condition. Also, MPT was shorter when pre-cued in the sixteenth condition than in either the no cue or half screen conditions. Target pre-cueing conditions did not affect the other dependent variables. Conclusions: Shorter PQE following the most precise target pre-cueing implies that some pre-programming occurred before QE, perhaps through inhibition, but only when the pre-cue was specific enough to make pre-programming possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-795
Number of pages9
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Motor planning
  • pre-cueing
  • quiet eye


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