, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 87-92

Movement reversals in ball catching

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This study aimed to determine whether the interception of a moving object is achieved by implementing a predictive or a prospective strategy. We examined the kinematics of catching movement in a situation in which the catching hand was constrained to move along a single dimension. In line with predictions based on a prospective strategy, the results obtained indicated that, for the same interception point and the same initial hand position, modification of the spatiotemporal characteristics of the ball’s trajectory (via modification of the angle of approach of the ball) gave rise to systematic changes in the kinematics of catching movement. Moreover, the production of movement reversals when the hand was already positioned at the interception point, while in line with the predictions of the prospective strategy formalized by Bootsma et al. (1997), allowed for rejection of a predictive strategy.

Received: 10 September 1998 / Accepted: 17 May 1999