Skip to content

Inside the batter’s brain

May 9, 2013, 8:52 AM EDT

nerve impulse

Future scouting report: “Great upper body strength. Good batting eye. Fluid swing. Well-developed , V5 region of his visual cortex. Good looking girlfriend, so he clearly has self confidence …”

In a study published today in the journal Neuron, UC Berkeley researchers used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to pinpoint the prediction mechanisms in the brain that enable hitters to track pitches … They found that the brain is capable of effectively “pushing” forward objects along in their trajectory from the moment it first sees them, simulating their path based on their direction and speed and allowing us to unconsciously project where they’ll be a moment later.

And, it follows, that hitters whose v-5 region of their visual cortex — the part of the brain that handles this stuff — are better at adjusting to and thus mashing pitches. Pitches which move over 12 feet in the 100 millisecond between when the batter’s eye sees the ball and when the nerve impulse which makes the batter start his swing can get moving.

Well, it’s either that or they have more grit and WtW and stuff.

(thanks to Mike Lewis for the heads up)

  1. cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    I have slightly more faith in the MRI of a potential player’s brain than I do in the looks of his girlfriend.

    • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      That’s cuz you’re bf isn’t pretty. Speaking of, I HATE him! What’s with him catching our hits and playing well and all? Urp.

      • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Pretty? What he need to be pretty for? You seen that guy without his shirt on? If I looked like that I’d never put a shirt on. Besides, he’s hitting .103. I dare say that if Roger Bernadina is beating you EVERYONE’S beating you.

      • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Ok, well then why did he have to be okay LAST NIGHT when we were playing them?

        /sulks

    • Old Gator - May 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      It’s awfully tight in here.

      Um…in the batter’s brain, I mean.

  2. historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Isn’t that the part of the brain where tWtW is located? That or hiccups, I think.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      What the fuck is your problem, asshole? We all get it: Craig said something mean to you once, and you can’t bear it. Fine. Take it up with Craig personally. His email link is right there in the “Feedback” button on the top right. Use that. I’m sure he’s love nothing better than to go back and forth with you about what enormous idiot you are.

      But what in hell has historiophiliac done to you? If anything she goes out of her way to avoid jackasses like you, so why start up with her? The faceless anonymity of the internet is too much responsibility for you? You lack the capacity to act in a civilized manner?

    • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Pointer #1: Pick a handle that is not something Craig’s brother used to call him when he was 8.

      Bonus points if you can work a troll into your name. Something like: craiglovesphillies or craigonyoungssandwich.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      “craigonyoungsanwich”???? And here I thought “craigsaloser” was really trollin’ hard. THAT’S cruel, ‘phliiac! Cruel and unusual…funny as hell, though. Damn funny. Which is more than the douche bag we’re talking to can say for himself.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM

      Sounds like you know all about 300lb men, their shorts, and ding dongs, idiot. Self portrait, perhaps? Wouldn’t be the least surprised.

    • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Dude, I’m trying to help you out. You wanted pointers. What? Mmmmm, ding dongs.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 9, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      CIAL is a poppy headed…poppy butt.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Look…I don’t swing that way dude. You are coming nowhere near my (or Cur’s) penises.
      Please stop with the “Ding Dong” references. You are starting to make me uncomfortable.
      You big ole’ poopy head. Poopy headed…poopy butt.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      I actually don’t care if ‘philliac IS a dude. Or isn’t a dude, for that matter. Who gives a crap? She is funny, not a troll, contributes to the baseball discussion and, though woefully enamoured with a goofy ballclub and its defensively challenged 3B-man, has a point to her contributions to these discussions.

      You, Mr. Loser are and do NONE of these things. I ask you again: why are you on this board? You could be ANYTHING here. ANYONE. You choose to be little more than a complete fuckwit.

      A total turd.

      An unredeemable asshole.

      An unreconstructed butt-wipe.

      A nasty little shit.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Still not answering the question, eh Mr. Loser? I’m not surprised. You CAN’T answer it, can you? You don’t know yourself why you log in here and smear the place with your odious personality. You just do it. It is your powerless and futile nature that THIS is the outlet for your mean-spirited and futile comments.

      Alas, forced to wonder the cyber-wasteland as an intemperate internet turd. Poor ‘ole thing.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Tsk. poor ‘Ole Thing. Have a lie down and cool drink, eh? You’ll feel better about yourself. And thanks for replying so much. First time you’ve ever been baited into that. I’m pretty proud of it.

    • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      See ya . . . Sucker.

    • unclemosesgreen - May 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      ‘cepts? Is that you buddy? Cause it sure smells like rancid horsemeat all over your posts.

    • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      My joke got lost in the noise.
      :(

  3. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Pretty cool. I saw before on that Sports Science segment they had Nomar Garciaparra track a fastball. The video had a dot that showed where his eyes were looking. His eyes were on the ball most of the way, but they said your eyes are not capable of tracking a ball moving that fast all the way to the bat. His eyes moved from directly on the ball to where the ball contacted the bat, exactly like what this article is saying about predicting where the ball will be.

  4. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 9, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    http://espn.go.com/high-school/baseball/video/clip?id=6596700

  5. stlouis1baseball - May 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    poppy = poopy

    You get the gist.

    EDIT. FUNCTION.

    • historiophiliac - May 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM

      he he

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. Y. Molina (3225)
  2. J. Soler (3186)
  3. R. Castillo (2819)
  4. D. Wright (2209)
  5. S. Doolittle (2050)
  1. D. Murphy (2039)
  2. B. Colon (2035)
  3. D. Ortiz (2018)
  4. R. Cano (1933)
  5. T. Lincecum (1931)