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Brain functions to recognize and hit a fastball

Brain mechanisms for quick judgment and motor control

Brain functions to recognize and hit a fastball

When hitting a 95-mph blazing fastball in baseball, the batter must judge the ball’s path and control the bat in about 0.4 seconds. However, it takes longer to achieve accurate judgment and movement. Though many studies have examined judgment and movement processes in the brain separately, they are closely related. We investigated how the brain establishes quick judgment and movement processing under strict time constraints. To this end, we conducted a baseball-like hitting experiment and clarified that the Strike/Ball judgment had less effect on hitting performance as the time constraint became stricter, but changing the movement strategy restrained the decrease. Our goal is to provide novel methods to evaluate and improve the brain functions of athletes to enhance cognitive-motor control in support of conventional approaches to physical fitness testing and training. We believe that this work will elucidate now hidden mental processes and find application in other research fields.

Brain functions to recognize and hit a fastball

[1] A. Kobayashi, T. Kimura, “Effects of cognitive strategy on hitting tasks,” IEICE Technical Report, Vol. 118, No. 470, pp. 37-42, 2019.
[2] A. Kobayashi, T. Kimura, “Motor redundancy affects decision-making behavior,” SICE Division of Life Engineering Symposium 2020, 2020.
[3] A. Kobayashi, T. Kimura, “Go/No-go decision making under severe time constraints interferes with hitting task performance,” in Proc. The Society for Neuroscience 49th Annual Meeting, 2019.


Akemi Kobayashi / Kashino Diverse Brain Research Laboratory
Email: cs-openhouse-ml@hco.ntt.co.jp

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