A simulated ball-hitting task was used to explore the optical basis for collision control. Ball speed and size were manipulated in Experiments 1 and 2. Results showed a tendency for participants to respond earlier to slower and larger balls. Early in practice, participants would consistently miss the slowest and largest balls. Experiments 3 and 4 examined performance as a function of the range of speeds. Performance for identical speeds differed depending on whether the speeds were fastest or slowest within a range. Asymmetric transfer between the 2 ranges of speeds showed that those trained with slow speeds were very successful when tested with a faster range of speeds. Those trained with fast speeds did not do as well when tested on slower speeds. The pattern of results across 4 experiments suggests that participants were using optical angle and expansion rate as separate degrees of freedom for solving the collision task.
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