Top-level football referees are better at spotting fouls because of enhanced visual perception
Top-level professional football referees have enhanced visual perception, which means that they are better at spotting foul play and issuing the correct disciplinary action than lower-level referees, according to new research published in the journal Cognitive Research.
The researchers, from Belgium and the UK, had 39 football referees from the top and lower leagues in Belgium watch staged videos of fouls being committed from the point-of-view of a referee on the football pitch. Eye-tracking technology was used to assess their visual-search behavior – that is the location that the referees’ eyes fixated on and for how long.
A round up of recent events
24th to 30th October was Open Access Week, a global event to increase awareness of the benefits of open access publishing, and to give the research community the opportunity to discuss and share their views on the topic.
BioMed Central celebrated Open Access Week with a number of activities, including a blog on how to monitor the impact of individual open access research articles. Research and Development Manager, Jess Monaghan, provided an overview of open access strategies across Europe and an infographic illustrated the huge variety of open access research published by our parent company, Springer Nature. Our readers could also test their open access knowledge in a quiz. All content relating to Open Access week at BioMed Central can be found here.
In a video published on 28th October, Barbara Burtness, Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) at Yale Cancer Center and Editor-in-Chief of BioMed Central’s journal Cancers of the Head and Neck, discusses the importance of removing barriers to accessing research and the impact that open access publishing can have for patients, researchers, and other groups that are affected by the latest studies.
“To me, open access in action means that knowledge should be available to everyone,” Professor Burtness says. “When patients participate in new trials or when researchers work hard to develop new knowledge, that shouldn’t be restricted. Patients, researchers, trainees; everyone should be able to read that new information when it comes out.” The full video is available on the BioMed Central YouTube channel and our homepage.
A one-day conference organized by BioMed Central in cooperation with Digital Science and the Wellcome Trust, took place on November 5th at the Wellcome Collection – and it was a great success. Attendees gathered to discuss, debate and predict the future of peer review. Talks on topics including artificial intelligence, retractions, and peer review poetry generated fantastic activity on Twitter. Take a look at our Storify for a selection of that conversation.
The Conference for Open Access Scholarly Publishers (COASP), a two-day event organized by OASPA, The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, was held from 20th to 22nd September in West Arlington, Virginia. Delegates met to discuss contributions to research, the open access movement and what the research article of the future might look like. Diana Marshall, publisher for the BMC-series journals, attended and recounts her experience in her blog.
BioMed Central in the news
Babies born to women with obesity are older on a molecular level, because of shortened telomere lengths, compared with newborns of mothers with a normal BMI. This may increase the babies' risk of chronic diseases in adulthood and reduce their life expectancy. The study by researchers at Hasselt University, Belgium was published in BMC Medicine and involved 743 mothers and their babies.
The research was covered by New Scientist and Daily Mail in UK; The Conversation and The Australian in Australia; aerzteblatt.de in Germany; Live Science in US; chennaionline.com and Business Standard in India; Helsingin Sanomat in Finland; bioon.com, medsci.cn and biodiscover.com in China; The Guardian Nigeria; and De Kennis van Nu and Scientias in the Netherlands.
Top-level professional football referees have enhanced visual perception, which means that they are better at spotting foul play and issuing the correct disciplinary action than lower league-level referees.
The research published in Cognitive Research showed that elite referees focus on the most crucial information when watching fouls being committed by spending more time fixating on the body part involved in the foul, rather than on other areas.
This was a popular study, broadcast on BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 Todayand BBC Radio 5Live in the UK. In the US it was broadcast by AAAS Science Update and Voice of America, both of which syndicated their content to local news radio across the United States. It was also reported online by the following outlets: Guardian, Mail Online, Express, Wired, IFL Science, and Optometry Today in the UK; independent.ie in Ireland; forskning.no in Norway; Eurasia Review in Spain and Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany.
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