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Jonathan C. Flavell, Brendan T. Barrett, John G. Buckley, Julie M. Harris, Andrew J. Scally, Nathan B. Beebe, Alice G. Cruickshank, Simon J. Bennett; Temporal estimation in prediction motion tasks is biased by a moving destination. Journal of Vision 2018;18(2):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.2.5.
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An ability to predict the time-to-contact (TTC) of moving objects that become momentarily hidden is advantageous in everyday life and could be particularly so in fast-ball sports. Prediction motion (PM) experiments have sought to test this ability using tasks where a disappearing target moves toward a stationary destination. Here, we developed two novel versions of the PM task in which the destination either moved away from (Chase) or toward (Attract) the moving target. The target and destination moved with different speeds such that collision occurred 750, 1,000 or 1,250 ms after target occlusion. To determine if domain-specific experience conveys an advantage in PM tasks, we compared the performance of different sporting groups ranging from internationally competing athletes to non-sporting controls. There was no difference in performance between sporting groups and non-sporting controls but there were significant and independent effects on response error by target speed, destination speed, and occlusion period. We simulated these findings using a revised version of the linear TTC model of response timing for PM tasks (Yakimoff, Bocheva, & Mitrania, 1987; Yakimoff, Mateeff, Ehrenstein, & Hohnsbein, 1993) in which retinal input from the moving destination biases the internal representation of the occluded target. This revision closely reproduced the observed patterns of response error and thus describes a means by which the brain might estimate TTC when the target and destination are in motion.
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