Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Slow Balls Take The Swing Out Of Young Ball Players

Date:
May 5, 2005
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Exasperated parents practicing throw-and-connect skills with their young children will be relieved to know that their child's inability to hit a slow-moving ball has a scientific explanation: Children cannot hit slow balls because their brains are not wired to handle slow motion. "When you throw something slowly to a child, you think you're doing them a favour," said Terri Lewis, professor of psychology at McMaster University. "Slow balls actually appear stationary to a child."

Hamilton, ON. May 4, 2005 -- Exasperated parents practicing throw-and-connect skills with their young children will be relieved to know that their child's inability to hit a slow-moving ball has a scientific explanation: Children cannot hit slow balls because their brains are not wired to handle slow motion.

"When you throw something slowly to a child, you think you're doing them a favour by trying to be helpful," said Terri Lewis, professor of psychology at McMaster University. "Slow balls actually appear stationary to a child."

This explains why a young child holding a bat or a catcher's mitt will often not react to a ball thrown toward her, prompting flummoxed parents to continue throwing the ball even slower. By adding a little speed to the pitch, Lewis and her team found that children were able to judge speed more accurately. There are several reasons for the phenomenon.

"Our brain has very few neurons that deal specifically with slow motion and many neurons that deal with faster motion," says Lewis. "Even adults are worse at slow speeds than they are at faster speeds. The immature neurons in a child's brain make a child especially poor at judging slow speeds -- immaturity disadvantages the few neurons that are responsible for seeing slow speeds more so than the many neurons responsible for seeing faster speeds. Once the brain develops to maturity, it becomes more adept at handling slower speeds."

Lewis' research, which will be published in July in Vision Research, was triggered when she and her team began detecting a correlation between eye problems and perception. For instance, children born with cataracts and treated as early as a few months of age were found to encounter problems with seeing motion later in life. Deficits in motion perception are particularly pronounced when a person encounters slow motion.

###

McMaster University, named Canada's Research University of the Year by Research InfoSource, has world-renowned faculty, and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of more than 23,000, and more than 112,000 alumni in 128 countries.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Slow Balls Take The Swing Out Of Young Ball Players." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050505085134.htm>.
McMaster University. (2005, May 5). Slow Balls Take The Swing Out Of Young Ball Players. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050505085134.htm
McMaster University. "Slow Balls Take The Swing Out Of Young Ball Players." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050505085134.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins