Psychological Research

, Volume 77, Issue 4, pp 422–433 | Cite as

The effect of state anxiety on the online and offline control of fast target-directed movements

  • Gavin P. Lawrence
  • Michael A. Khan
  • Lew Hardy
Original Article


In target-directed aiming, afferent information is used to adjust limb trajectories during movement execution (i.e. online) and to enhance the programming of subsequent trials (i.e. offline). The objective of the present study was to determine the influence of state anxiety on both online and offline afferent information processing for the first time. Participants practiced either a directional aiming task (Experiment 1) or an amplitude aiming task (Experiment 2) without anxiety before being transferred to a high anxiety condition. In both experiments, results revealed that anxiety resulted in a decrement in performance. Furthermore, use of afferent information to adjust movement trajectories online was disrupted when movements were performed with anxiety, whereas there were no differences in the offline processing of afferent information between the low anxiety and high anxiety conditions.


Movement Time Constant Error Movement Execution Home Position Afferent Information 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavin P. Lawrence
    • 1
  • Michael A. Khan
    • 2
  • Lew Hardy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, Institute for the Psychology of Elite PerformanceBangor UniversityBangorUK
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Human KineticsUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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