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Peter Possidente, Flip Phillips, Jon Matthis, Gabriel Diaz; Anticipation of sabre fencing attacks. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):957. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/11.11.957.
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Humans are able to anticipate and react to events conveyed by the visual information in the world around them. Various sports act as a prime example of this. In sabre fencing, for example, the athlete obtains information about their opponent's movements and uses it to stage attacks as well as anticipate and react in defense. In the present study, we use motion capture to obtain the dynamic biological motion involved in various traditional sabre attacks. Using the methods employed by Diaz et al. and Mantovani et al., we examine the sources of movement information available that allows the defender to anticipate the attacker's intended target. The results of our analysis were compared to the eye fixation results of Hagamann et al. to determine whether the sources that our analysis found to be rich in information were the same as those fixated on by human fencers. In a subsequent study, the motion capture data was used to create a class of artificial stimuli which included temporal and/or spatial occlusion. These were then viewed by human fencers who were asked to make real time judgments as to where the attacks were aimed. Results indicated a variety of reliable information sources. The relative importance of specific sources appeared to change over the time course of an incoming attack, and across the different skill levels of the fencers tested.
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