"Current theory proposes that baseball outfielders catch fly balls by selecting a running path to achieve optical acceleration cancellation of the ball. Yet people appear to lack the ability to discriminate accelerations accurately. This study supports the idea that outfielders convert the temporal problem to a spatial one by selecting a running path that maintains a linear optical trajectory (LOT) for the ball. The LOT model is a strategy of maintaining "control" over the relative direction of optical ball movement in a manner that is similar to simple predator tracking behavior."
Photo: flickr/SD Dirk
Related content: Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: What’s in a name? Part II: Why Kevin Kouzmanoff strikes out so much. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Study proves hot baseball players more likely to pummel you with their balls. Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Impact of Yankee Stadium Bat Day on blunt trauma in northern New York City. WTF is NCBI ROFL? Read our FAQ!