Kinsbourne, M., & Hicks, R. E. (1978). Functional cerebral space: a model for overflow, transfer, and interference effects in human performance. A tutorial. In J. Requin (Ed.), Attention and performance VII. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. (pp. 345-362).

A structural model for attention allocation of the brain was developed. It was theorized that there are "functional spaces" in the brain that are used to process different types of information. The theory is based on the idea that different hemispheres of the brain control different information processing and motor functions. For example, balancing an object with the right hand makes speech more difficult because both speech and right hand balancing are left cerebral hemisphere controlled. Interference occurs when the same "functional space" in the brain is required to do more than it can accommodate. Therefore, attending to multitasks is possible until those tasks invade the same space in the brain. The brain must then choose to which stimuli to attend.

Implication. Evaluation of such conflicts should occur at training. They could produce critical performance diminutions even though effort and intention are highest, which, in turn, becomes a source of negative outcome in a competition.

The best bet is to let the athlete choose what is in a performance strategy after practice, evaluation, and coach input. At least then, negative appraisals will be avoided.

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