Correctly perceiving the movements of opponents is essential in everyday life as well as in many sports. Several studies have shown a better prediction performance for detailed stimuli compared to point-light displays (PLDs). However, it remains unclear whether differences in prediction performance result from explicit information about articulation or from information about body shape. We therefore presented three different types of stimuli (PLDs, stick figures, and skinned avatars) with different amounts of available information of soccer players’ run-ups. Stimulus presentation was faded out at ball contact. Participants had to react to the perceived shot direction with a full-body movement. Results showed no differences for time to virtual ball contact between presentation modes. However, prediction performance was significantly better for avatars and stick figures compared to PLDs, but did not differ between avatars and stick figures, suggesting that explicit information about the articulation of the major joints is mainly relevant for better prediction performance, and plays a larger role than detailed information about body shape. We also tracked eye movements and found that gaze behavior for avatars differed from those for PLDs and stick figures, with no significant differences between PLDs and stick figures. This effect was due to more and longer fixations on the head when avatars were presented.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
None of the data or materials for the experiments reported here are available, and none of the experiments were preregistered.
Abernethy, B., Gill, D. P., Parks, S. L., & Packer, S. T. (2001). Expertise and the perception of kinematic and situational probability information. Perception, 30(2), 233–252. https://doi.org/10.1068/p2872
Atkinson, A. P., Dittrich, W. H., Gemmell, A. J., & Young, A. W. (2004). Emotion perception from dynamic and static body expressions in point-light and full-light displays. Perception, 33(6), 717–746. https://doi.org/10.1068/p5096
Blake, R., & Shiffrar, M. (2007). Perception of human motion. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 47–73. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190152
Brainard, D. H. (1997). The Psychophysics Toolbox. Spatial Vision, 10(4), 433–436. https://doi.org/10.1163/156856897X00357
Diaz, G. J., Fajen, B. R., & Phillips, F. (2012). Anticipation from biological motion: The goalkeeper problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(4), 848–864. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0026962
Dicks, M., Button, C., & Davids, K. (2010). Examination of gaze behavior under un situ and video simulation task constraints reveals differences in information pickup for perception. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 72(3), 706–720. https://doi.org/10.3758/APP
Dittrich, W. H., Troscianko, T., Lea, S. E. G., & Morgan, D. (1996). Perception of emotion from dynamic point-light displays represented in dance. Perception, 25(6), 727–738. https://doi.org/10.1068/p250727
Fukuhara, K., Ida, H., Ogata, T., Ishii, M., & Higuchi, T. (2017). The role of proximal body information on anticipatory judgment in tennis using graphical information richness. PLOS ONE, 12(7), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180985
Hayhoe, M. M., & Ballard, D. (2005). Eye movements in natural behavior. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9(4), 188–194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2005.02.009
Hohmann, T., Troje, N. F., Olmos, A., & Munzert, J. (2011). The influence of motor expertise and motor experience on action and actor recognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23(4), 403–415. https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2011.525504
Johansson, G. (1973). Visual perception of biological motion and a model for its analysis. Perception & Psychophysics, 14(2), 201–211. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03212378
Kleiner, M., Brainard, D. H., Pelli, D. G., Broussard, C., Wolf, T., & Niehorster, D. (2007). What’s new in Psychtoolbox-3? Perception 36 ECVP Abstract Supplement. https://doi.org/10.1068/v070821
Kozlowski, L. T., & Cutting, J. E. (1977). Recognizing the sex of a walker from a dynamic point-light display. Perception & Psychophysics, 21(6), 575–580.
Kurz, J., Hegele, M., & Munzert, J. (2018). Gaze behavior in a natural environment with a task-relevant distractor: How the presence of a goalkeeper distracts the penalty taker. Frontiers in Psychology: Cognitive Science, 9:19, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00019
Kurz, J., & Munzert, J. (2018). How the experimental setting influences representativeness: A review of gaze behavior in football penalty takers. Frontiers in Psychology: Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 9:682. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00682
Lees, A., & Owens, L. (2011). Early visual cues associated with a directional place kick in soccer. Sports Biomechanics, 10(2), 125–134. https://doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2011.569565
Loper, M., Mahmood, N., & Black, M. J. (2014). MoSh: Motion and shape capture from sparse markers. ACM Transactions on Graphics, 33(6), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1145/2661229.2661273
Lopes, J. E., Jacobs, D. M., Travieso, D., & Araújo, D. (2014). Predicting the lateral direction of deceptive and non-deceptive penalty kicks in football from the kinematics of the kicker. Human Movement Science, 36, 199–216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2014.04.004
Mann, D. L., Abernethy, B., & Farrow, D. (2010). Action specificity increases anticipatory performance and the expert advantage in natural interceptive tasks. Acta Psychologica, 135(1), 17–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2010.04.006
Mather, G., & Murdoch, L. (1994). Gender discrimination in biological motion displays based on dynamic cues. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 258, 273–279. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1994.0173
Morya, E., Ranvaud, R., & Pinheiro, W. M. (2003). Dynamics of visual feedback in a laboratory simulation of a penalty kick. Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(2), 87–95. https://doi.org/10.1080/0264041031000070840
Munzert, J., Hohmann, T., & Hossner, E. (2010). Discriminating throwing distances from point-light displays with masked ball flight. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 22, 247–264. https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440902757975
Pelli, D. G. (1997). The VideoToolbox software for visual psychophysics: Transforming numbers into movies. Spatial Vision, 10(4), 437–442. https://doi.org/10.1163/156856897X00366
Perneger, T. V. (1998). What’s wrong with Bonferroni adjusments. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 316(7139), 1236–1238. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7139.1236
Saunders, D. R., Williamson, D. K., & Troje, N. F. (2010). Gaze patterns during perception of direction and gender from biological motion. Journal of Vision, 10(11), 9–9. https://doi.org/10.1167/10.11.9
Savelsbergh, G. J. P., van der Kamp, J., Williams, A. M., & Ward, P. (2002). Visual search, anticipation and expertise in soccer goalkeepers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20, 279–287. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140130500101346
Savelsbergh, G. J. P., Van der Kamp, J., Williams, A. M., & Ward, P. (2005). Anticipation and visual search behaviour in expert soccer goalkeepers. Ergonomics, 48(11–14), 1686–1697. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140130500101346
Shim, J., Carlton, L. G., Chow, J. W., & Chae, W.-S. (2005). The use of anticipatory visual cues by highly skilled tennis players. Journal of Motor Behavior, 37(2), 164–175. https://doi.org/10.3200/JMBR.37.2.164-175
Shim, J., Carlton, L. G., & Kwon, Y. H. (2006). Perception of kinematic characteristics of tennis strokes for anticipating stroke type and direction. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77(3), 326–339. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2006.10599367
Swann, C., Moran, A., & Piggott, D. (2015). Defining elite athletes: Issues in the study of expert performance in sport psychology. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 16(P1), 3–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.07.004
Troje, N. F. (2002). Decomposing biological motion: A framework for analysis and synthesis of human gait patterns. Journal of Vision, 2(5), 371–387. https://doi.org/10.1167/2.5.2
Troje, N. F. (2008). Retrieving information from human movement patterns. In T. F. Shipley & J. M. Zacks (Eds.), Understanding Events: How Humans See, Represent, and Act on Events (pp. 308–334). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195188370.003.0014
Troje, N. F. (2013). What is biological motion? Definition, stimuli, and paradigms. In M. D. Rutherford & V. A. Kuhlmeier (Eds.), Social Perception: Detection and Interpretation of Animacy, Agency and Intention (pp. 13–36). MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262019279.003.0002
Troje, N. F., Westhoff, C., & Lavrov, M. (2005). Person identification from biological motion: Effects of structural and kinematic cues. Perception & Psychophysics, 67(4), 667–675. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03193523
Vignais, N., Bideau, B., Craig, C., Brault, S., Multon, F., Delamarche, P., & Kulpa, R. (2009). Does the level of graphical detail of a virtual handball thrower influence a goalkeeper’s motor response? Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 8(4), 501–508.
Ward, P., Williams, A. M., & Bennett, S. J. (2002). Visual search and biological motion perception in tennis. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 73(1), 107–112. https://doi.org/10.1080/02701367.2002.10608997
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Kurz, J., Helm, F., Troje, N.F. et al. Prediction of action outcome: Effects of available information about body structure. Atten Percept Psychophys (2019) doi:10.3758/s13414-019-01883-5
- Kinematic information
- Soccer penalty
- Gaze behavior
- Structural body information