September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Distance-to-contact and not time-to-contact determines when a hitting movement is initiated
Author Affiliations
  • Cristina de la Malla
    Vision and Control of Action (VISCA) group, Departament de Psicologia Bàsica, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Joan López-Moliner
    Vision and Control of Action (VISCA) group, Departament de Psicologia Bàsica, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
    Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C), Spain
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 947. doi:10.1167/11.11.947
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      Cristina de la Malla, Joan López-Moliner; Distance-to-contact and not time-to-contact determines when a hitting movement is initiated. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):947. doi: 10.1167/11.11.947.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

When hitting moving targets, the hand or the hitting object has to be in the correct place at the correct time. That means that action must be initiated taking into account the velocity at which the object moves and has to be continuously updated. There are then two possibilities to calculate when to start the action: a) relying on the remaining distance for the object to arrive to the position where one wants to hit it (distance-to-contact) or b) relying on the remaining time for the object to arrive to the hitting position (time-to-contact). In our experiment, in different sessions subjects had to hit moving targets under harmonic motion with either reliable displacement amplitude or reliable maximum velocity. Results indicate that initiation of the movement is based on distance-to-contact instead of time-to-contact information. In both conditions the action is initiated when the target is at a relative distance (which is slightly different between conditions) from the hitting place, independently of the target maximum velocity. However, the temporal uncertainty present at initiation time is reduced with movement time for both conditions.

This research was funded by grant PSI2010-15867 by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Spanish government. 
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