Author(s): Ranganathan R, Carlton LG
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The authors examined 10 expert and 10 novice baseball batters' ability to distinguish between a fastball and a change-up in a virtual environment. They used 2 different response modes: (a) an uncoupled response in which the batters verbally predicted the type of pitch and (b) a coupled response in which the batters swung a baseball bat to try and hit the virtual ball. The authors manipulated visual information from the pitcher and ball in 6 visual conditions. The batters were more accurate in predicting the type of pitch when the response was uncoupled. In coupled responses, experts were better able to use the first 100 ms of ball flight independently of the pitcher's kinematics. In addition, the skilled batters' stepping patterns were related to the pitcher's kinematics, whereas their swing time was related to ball speed. Those findings suggest that specific task requirements determine whether a highly coupled perception-action environment improves anticipatory performance. The authors also highlight the need for research on interceptive actions to be conducted in the performer's natural environment.
This article was published in J Mot Behav
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology