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Catching Virtual Throws: An Immersive Virtual Reality Setup to Evaluate Human Predictive Skills

  • Antonella Maselli
  • Benedetta Cesqui
  • Paolo Tommasino
  • Aishwar Dhawan
  • Francesco Lacquaniti
  • Andrea d’Avella
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10850)

Abstract

We present and validate a novel and portable IVR setup conceived for studying the predictive mechanisms associated to action observation. The setup implements an interactive throwing-catching task in which participants have to intercept balls thrown from a virtual character. To validate the setup, we performed a preliminary experiment in which participants had to intercept balls thrown by different throwers, under different ball/thrower visibility conditions. Non-expert adult participants were able to extract information from an observed throwing action to improve their interceptive performances. This ability was modulated by the throwing strategy (e.g. throwing from a fixed stance with respect to throwing with stepping corresponded to worse interceptive performances). These preliminary results validate our setup as a novel tool for exploring how humans access and make use of information from observed actions to optimize interpersonal interactions. Importantly, the proposed setup could be used as a tool for early diagnosis of pathologies in which predictive skills are progressively impaired.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Horizon 2020 Robotics Program CogIMon (ICT-23-2014 under grant Agreement 644727), by the Italian Education, University and Research Ministry (PRIN grant 2015HFWRYY), and by the Italian Space Agency (contract n. I/006/06/0).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Maselli
    • 1
  • Benedetta Cesqui
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paolo Tommasino
    • 1
  • Aishwar Dhawan
    • 3
  • Francesco Lacquaniti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrea d’Avella
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Neuromotor PhysiologySanta Lucia FoundationRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Systems Medicine and Center of Space BiomedicineUniversity of Rome Tor VergataRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of BiomechanicsInstitute of Sukan NegaraKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional ImagingUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

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