Are atheletes better at processing visual information?

The New York Times reports on a new study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Researchers had both athletes and non-athletes perform a task – crossing a busy street – while immersed in a virtual reality simulation. As with a real-life street crossing, subjects had to gauge the speed of oncoming vehicles. The study found that athletes were better able to complete the task not because they crossed the street more quickly or otherwise brought to bear their athletic prowess, but because they glanced up and down the street more than non-athletes and appeared better able to project when to cross the street relative to the positions of oncoming vehicles.

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