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Huaiyong Zhao, William H. Warren; Intercepting a moving target: On-line or model-based control?. Journal of Vision 2017;17(5):12. doi: 10.1167/17.5.12.
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When walking to intercept a moving target, people take an interception path that appears to anticipate the target's trajectory. According to the constant bearing strategy, the observer holds the bearing direction of the target constant based on current visual information, consistent with on-line control. Alternatively, the interception path might be based on an internal model of the target's motion, known as model-based control. To investigate these two accounts, participants walked to intercept a moving target in a virtual environment. We degraded the target's visibility by blurring the target to varying degrees in the midst of a trial, in order to influence its perceived speed and position. Reduced levels of visibility progressively impaired interception accuracy and precision; total occlusion impaired performance most and yielded nonadaptive heading adjustments. Thus, performance strongly depended on current visual information and deteriorated qualitatively when it was withdrawn. The results imply that locomotor interception is normally guided by current information rather than an internal model of target motion, consistent with on-line control.
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