Friday, May 15, 2009

Check it Out - How a curveball REALLY works

This year's winner of the 5th Annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest actually explains the perceptual puzzle created by a curveball.

Here is some additional information provided by the creators -
Arthur Shapiro, Zhong-Lin Lu, Emily Knight, and Robert Ennis:

In baseball, a curveball creates a physical effect and a perceptual puzzle. The physical effect (the curve) arises because the ball’s rotation leads to a deflection in the ball’s path. The perceptual puzzle arises because the deflection is actually gradual but is often perceived as an abrupt change in direction (the break). Our illusions suggest that the perceived “break” may be caused by the transition from the central visual system to the peripheral visual system. Like a curveball, the spinning disks in the illusions appear to abruptly change direction when an observer switches from foveal to peripheral viewing.

I know this one is a little more scientific than my usual
Check it Out shout-outs, but certainly worth taking a look.

And for those of you wanting to learn how to throw the curveball, check out the following YouTube video.

Cheers! - Jason

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