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The Sciences

NCBI ROFL: How baseball outfielders determine where to run to catch fly balls.

DiscoblogBy ncbi roflSeptember 10, 2010 4:00 AM
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"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."

baseball.jpg

Photo: flickr/SD Dirk

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