Past Awardee

The Integration of Virtual Reality Environments and Full Body Motion Capture for the Study of Perception of Biological Motion and the Online Control of Action

Les Carlton
Les Carlton

College: Applied Health Sciences
Award year: 1999-2000

The proposed project is designed to examine the contribution of various sources of visual information for the coupling of perception and movement control. The objective is to determine the nature of the visual information used by performers in time-critical perception-action tasks that require the accurate perception of biological motion. The initial focus is on projectile type activities. A number of tasks in the sport domain, such as hitting a pitched ball or returning a shot in tennis, require the performer to rapidly and accurately determine the speed and direction of ball travel. Highly skilled performers believe, and a number of research studies have shown, that visual information from the opponents movements can be used to predict subsequent ball motion. What is the nature of the visual information that is used? One specific goal of this project is to determine the ability of observers to pick-up and use visual information from virtual reality displays. The performers ability to anticipate the ball path based on observations of the performers swing will be compared using virtual reality displays, 2-dimensional video displays, and point light displays (a display that only shows points of light representing the joints of the mover). Assuming that the virtual reality animation is effective, a second objective is to use these techniques to manipulate the visual scene to determine the specific visual information used in the perception-action coupling of time critical projectile tasks.