Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Virtual environments (VE) and virtual reality (VR) through head-mounted displays (HMD) have been used to test and train eye-hand coordination skills in a way that is more immersive than traditional 2D video training. As this technology continues to evolve, researchers have sought to determine the degree to which these new technologies can augment training. This research attempts to expand the literature on sport skill training in VE and VR to elucidate the training protocols that support learning. The first study was designed to determine how a single session of occlusion training would affect football catching skills in VR. While adding occlusion of the ball during training did negatively impact catching performance as predicted, there was no effect on retention one day later. Visual and hand reaction times did not seem to be affected by occlusion training either during acquisition or during retention. The second study was designed to determine how the order of speed variation would affect football catching skill acquisition and retention in VR. The training protocol used in this study was also effective in improving catching skills in VR but did not coincide with motor learning literature reporting the benefits of random training over blocked training. The speed variation added in the second study did lead to changes in visual reaction time during training, but again did not lead to changes at retention. The third study used a multi-session protocol to test adaptive training in VR and did not illuminate any advantage to individualized training under the chosen parameters. Together these studies add knowledge about the training of an interceptive skill in VR and has demonstrated which protocols are better able to enhance the learning process.



Committee Chair

Dalecki, Marc



Available for download on Thursday, May 23, 2024

Included in

Motor Control Commons