Science of Human
Exhibition Program 26
How do excellent batters look at the ball?
Cognitive processes revealed by eye movements in batting
To achieve skillful batting in ball games, batters have to accurately judge ball trajectory and impact time, and quickly decide whether or not to swing, as well as flexibly control a bat. We are working to clarify these implicit (unconscious) cognitive processes in excellent batters through measurements of eye movements in realistic environments. A field measurement revealed that elite baseball batters including professionals often make predictive saccades, that is, quick eye movements to where the ball will be in front of the home plate, and the relationships between the ball and predictive saccades in terms of time and space differ according to batting results. These and other related findings will be useful not only for assessing cognitive features, such as visual processing and prediction, in top athletes but also for developing novel feedback and training methods to efficiently improve their performance and underlying implicit brain functions.
-  Y. Kishita, M. Kashino, “How do batters look at the ball? Revealing eye movement strategy in elite players,” Annual meeting of Japan Society of Baseball Science , 2017. (in Japanese)