A comparison of real catching with catching using stereoscopic visual displays

J C Dessing, C E Peper, P J Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


To date, the usefulness of stereoscopic visual displays in research on manual interceptive actions has never been examined. In this study, we compared the catching movements of 8 right-handed participants (6 men, 2 women) in a real environment (with suspended balls swinging past the participant, requiring lateral hand movements for interception) with those in a situation in which similar virtual ball trajectories were displayed stereoscopically in a virtual reality system (Cave Automated Virtual Environment [CAVE]; Cruz-Neira, Sandin, DeFranti, Kenyon, & Hart, 1992) with the head fixated. Catching the virtual ball involved grasping a lightweight ball attached to the palm of the hand. The results showed that, compared to real catching, hand movements in the CAVE were (a) initiated later, (b) less accurate, (c) smoother, and (d) aimed more directly at the interception point. Although the latter 3 observations might be attributable to the delayed movement initiation observed in the CAVE, this delayed initiation might have resulted from the use of visual displays. This suggests that stereoscopic visual displays such as present in many virtual reality systems should be used circumspectly in the experimental study of catching and should be used only to address research questions requiring no detailed analysis of the information-based online control of the catching movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEcological psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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