Visual Search Strategies of Elite Baseball Players During a Baseball Hitting Task

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nathanial Scott Harris (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Baseball batting is a cognitively demanding interceptive timing task that requires precision and power. Due to the quick duration of an at-bat , anticipatory visual cues and predictive eye movements are needed to have an accurate final fixation while initiating bat swing. Previous research has demonstrated expert hitters have superior dynamic visual acuity and superior visual search strategies. However , little research has examined the eye movement patterns and visual search strategies in an interceptive task. The purpose of this study was to examine the eye movement pattern differences in baseball players of varying skill levels and to observe changes in eye movements due to hit quality and pitch type. Sixteen participants with varying baseball playing experience were recruited (eight elite , eight sub-elite players) to perform a baseball hitting task. During the hitting task , participant's eye movements and fixation points were recorded using mobile eye tracking equipment. There were no significant differences in the time points of anticipatory eye shifts between the elite and sub-elite group. There was a significant negative correlation between the time point of the first anticipatory saccadic eye movement and hit quality [r(12) = -.547; p = .043] and a significant positive correlation [r(12) = .651 , p < .05] for the average time lapse between the first saccadic eye movement and the last captured frame in the known conditions for all participants. Overall , the results demonstrated the role visual search strategies in interceptive tasks.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
visual search strategies, eye movements, interceptive timing

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