Fly chasing

(From Samuel Saunders [950511:1715 EDT])

In view of the recent threads on anticipation and on PCT research, the
article "How baseball outfielders where to run to catch fly balls" by
McBeath, Shaffer, and Kaiser in 28 April 1995 Science (569-573) may be of
interest. The authors propose that the task is performed by varying
running speed and direction to control the perception of a linear optical
trajectory for the ball. They report 2 experiments, the first filming
outfielders chasing fly balls with a fixed camera, the second filming with
a shoulder mounted camera. The second experiment appears to be close to
the test, and the analysis notes that the presumed variable in fact remains
essentially constant, while other controlled variables which have been
proposed, such as optical speed, do not remain constant. The one problem I
see in the paper from a PCT view is that there is no attempt to model
individual runs.

//Samuel Spence Saunders,Ph.D.