Interactive Movie - Curveball - New Scientist
Dunno if anyone's already posted this but it's an interesting effect. They use curveballs in baseball as the example but the principle is the same.
I knew it - swing is a myth!!!
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Yeah, massive let down Burgey
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But this is mythological swing, not the real, cheating English-style swing.
Still a bad miss on my part, I admit.
Rest In Peace Craigos
This has nothing to do with swing whatsoever.
What the illusion is all about has nothing to do with the movement of the ball and how it occurs but how our brains track a moving object and which part of our eyes we use to perceive/process it. Key point;
The ball appears to swerve because our peripheral vision system cannot process all of its features independently. Instead, our brains combine the downward motion of the ball and its leftward spin to create the impression of a curve.
Line-of-sight (or foveal) vision, on the other hand, can extract all the information from the ball's movement, which is why the curve disappears when you view the ball dead-on.
Owing to the fact you face a baseball or a cricket ball side-on, there's going to be swapping between the processing. So, mid-flight, there's going to be changes in the way your brain perceives the movement/speed of the ball. This means your brain could, for example, exaggerate the degree of movement, perceive a change in its direction where there is none (many batsmen claim a ball swung both ways in flight, for example), make you lose the ball entirely, perceive movement when there was none at all, etc. And, as the illusion demonstrates, it's not just the swapping between processing which causes this; the direction and speed of the spin of the object changes how it's perceived.
It's just an interesting facet of vision and makes the point that not all vision nor how it's processed is uniform. A smart bowler, fielder or captain could figure out how to manipulate this. For example, notice how in the illusion changing the fixation point changes the perception of the ball's movement. It doesn't take a genius to figure out you can simulate something similar by putting a close fielder in the batsman's field of vision. Old tactic and you'd assume it's just a distraction to the batsman but it's obviously more complex than that.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 10-06-2009 at 05:42 PM.
I'm inclined to agree with Jimmy, here.
The speed at which a fielding team gets through the innings is overrated.
Pile of **** article IMHO.
Let's try to disprove the laws of fluid dynamics while we're at it.
David Wells had a nasty curveball. Just thought I'd say that for no important reason.
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Gavaskar, Boycott, Tendulkar, G.Pollock, V.Richards, Sobers, Gilchrist (wk), Warne (c), Waqar/Wasim, Lillee, Ambrose.
Grr, forum ate my post. Anyway, here's the highlights.
De Lucia, P., Cochran, E., (1985) Perceptual Motor Skills, 61(1):143-50
Your peripheral vision really has little to do with being side-on because it's all around the eye, foveal vision only being a relatively small point in the centre and able to perceive a narrow band of vision. The bloke who did the illusion, Arthur Shapiro, has written fairly extensively about it. Your brain takes cues from peripheral vision all the time and, in sport, as the ball gets closer to you, your brain uses more perceptual cues from your peripheral vision which, as it turns out, is less precise. It's absoutely unavoidable to use peripheral vision in tracking a moving object.
From the Journal of Vision;
Journal of Vision - Drastically different percepts of five illusions in foveal and peripheral vision reveal their differences in representing visual phase, by Knight, Shapiro, & Lu
An interview Shapiro did with Scientific American
Optical Illusion: Tracking the trajectory of a curveball: Scientific American Blog
Don't take my word for it, do a journal search yourself.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 11-06-2009 at 06:28 PM.
You're trying to tell me that I'm having a quick glance at the fielder while the ball is in flight? Yea good luck with that.
This theory surely all revolves around me looking at something other than the ball when its released. Which I can tell you, from experience, never happens.
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