This is an essay to elaborate on the cognitive and perceptual processes that are involved with the sixth step of hitting a baseball. With the elaboration of these processes, we will be able to see how batters can improve on their success rate of connecting with baseball.
In the absence of these processes, it would be impossible to successfully complete this step. Cognitive processes are actions by the mind that allow the obtaining of knowledge and understanding by using the process of thinking, experience and senses (Wikepedia, n.d.). Perceptual processes involve the is the progression of psychological steps that an individual goes through to put information in order and interpret it from the outside world (Boundless, n.d.). In order to stride and connect with the baseball the cognitive and perceptual processes of Attention, Visual and Proprioception (Movement) are involved.
Without these cognitive and perceptual processes, the step would not be able to be accomplished.ProprioceptionFor a person to be able to stride and connect they’ll have to move their front leg towards the pitcher so that they can build momentum.
Proprioception helps the individual stride to move forward and connect while not looking at their step because of the focus they’ll have on the ball about to come towards them. Assume a person in an empty room where light does not exist, how are they able to walk and have a sense of balance.
Without seeing where they are or knowing the position their body is currently in, they are still able to walk. The person has the knowledge of where to put their foot in order to move forward or backwards and also whether they are standing up or not (youtube, n.d.). The person knows how their body is positioned without any visual because of Proprioception. Proprioception is the of the position and movement of the body. In our body muscles receptors are found throughout the body (wikipedia, n.d.). The receptors help send messages to the brain allowing the batter to know what position their body as they prepare to stride. Proprioceptors are sense related receptors which receives stimuli from within the body, especially one that responds to position and movement (Wikipedia, n.d.).
These help the batter with striding in this step. While Proprioception helps with positioning, Kinesthesia helps with the awareness of movement of the parts of the body by means of sensory organs in the muscles and joints. The cerebral cortex located in the brain is made up of four major lobes which are frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe, and temporal lobe. The parietal lobe the lobe of the cerebral cortex in the brain that integrates sensory information between different modalities, with the spatial sense and navigation included. The body uses the parietal lobes for several important functions and one of the essential functions is receiving and processing sensory information from all over the body (Bailey, 2019). In this example for striding the batter will need to move their foot forward therefore making use of the parietal lobes. Neurons in the parietal lobes accept visual and other sensory information from the thalamus which is part of the brain (Bailey, 2019).
The thalamus receives and passes on nerve signals and sensory information among the peripheral nervous system and the cerebral cortex of the brain (Bailey, 2019). The parietal lobes process the information and help us to identify objects by touch and also work in agreement with other areas of the brain, such as the motor cortex and visual cortex, to perform other activities. Opening a door, brushing your teeth and walking all occur with the involved of the parietal lobes. These lobes are also most important for understanding spatial orientation and for proper navigation. Being able to identify the position, location and movement of the body and its parts is an important function of the parietal lobes. (Wikepedia, n.d.)
Proprioception, Kinesthesia and the parietal lobe is what allows the batter to make about a foot stride so that they can take a step and connect with the baseball.VisualIn order to stride and connect with the baseball the individual will have to be able to sight the ball and when the pitcher releases the ball towards them. Visual Perception Is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment using light in the visible spectrum reflected by the objects in the environment. This alludes to our capability to recognize and locate objects present in our environment. Having visual perception (sight sense) supports us to be functional in the world around us. With this support we are able to recognize if an object is far away or close to us, safe or if it’s a threat. Visual perception is the vision that contributes to the way we see and interpret the world. While striding and trying to connect the ball this helps the batter to judge how far the ball is and when they can start their stride or whether baseball is a threat in case it might not be a good pitch that could possibly hit them. Using visual perception, we are able to see these things before they happen so that we can react and get away from the baseball.
Visual perception is a crucial element in human beings, individuals can recognize the smallest things such as a grain of rice on the floor the stars far away in the sky. We can achieve this through our visual perception which occurs when light enters the eyes and encounters photoreceptors that work to capture visual information. The occipital lobes which are positioned at the posterior region of the cerebral cortex are the main centers for visual processes in the brain to provide a visual perception. This helps the batter to be able to see the pitcher as they release the ball and also be able to track the ball in order to stride and connect with the baseball. The visual perception of human beings is not always perfect. Illusions can sometimes occur, and these are instances of incorrect or misinterpreted perception of experiences related to the senses of the human body. For example, Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers who is considered to be one of the sport’s best-ever pitchers was good at striking out batters even though his pitches were not powerful like some of his teammates and other pitchers in the league.
The reason for Koufax’s successful strike rate against the batters was his curveball pitch which the batter saw the ball suddenly dip when it got to them by about 30 centimeters. A research team came to the conclusion that the unpredictable dip movement of pitched baseballs was just a trick of the eye. Five volunteers were selected to get into a laboratory so that researchers could prepare a non-complicated experiment using the pictures of two disks on an empty computer screen. The volunteers were asked to change their attention between two disks. One of the disks had a light and dark mixture to imitate a spinning baseball and slowly moved downwards from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. The other disk was blue, and it did not move. The researchers witnessed that, in all cases, when the volunteers mainly looked and focused on the spinning disk, they could see a straight dropdown. When the focus switched to the one that was not moving therefore making use of their peripheral vision to keep track of the spinning disk, the spinning disk looked to change direction away from the vertical. Switching attention among the two disks made the spinning disk seem to behave even more unpredictable, this example elaborates why visual perception is crucial and how it contributes to successfully connect with the baseball (Berardelli, 2010).
With just Visual perception and no attention the batter will most likely not be able to connect with the ball. Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether deemed subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. Attention has also been described as the allocation of limited cognitive processing resources. Attention is a complicated process that is utilized in nearly all the tasks we do every day. The scientific research after a period of time has shown that attention is made up of multiple subprocesses rather than a single process that it was first believed to be. The hierarchical model from Solberg and Mateer (1987, 1989) that was connected with clinical cases neuropsychology experiments is the widely accepted model for the attention subcomponents. In reference to this model there are six different parts of attention which are arousal, focused attention, sustained attention, selective attention, alternating attention and divided attention. Arousal is the activation level and level of alertness whether we are fatigue or not. Focused Attention is our capability to focus attention on a stimulus. Sustained Attention is the capability to pay attention to a stimulus or activity for a long period of time. Selective Attention is the capability of giving attention to a particular stimulus or task with other stimuli that might divert your attention present. The ability to switch focus attention between two or more stimuli is alternating attention.
Lastly, divided Attention refers to being able to pay attention to different stimuli or attention at the same time (Cognifit, n.d.)..When an individual is looking to connect with the ball there’s different stimulus going on especially if it is a game going on. For example, fans will be doing their own activities, music playing at the field and also your team cheering for you. In order to pay attention and connect with the ball an individual will use their selective attention part of the attention cognitive process which allows the batter to selectively concentrate on the ball as it comes towards them so that they’re able to adjust with the movement and direction of the ball while blocking of other stimuli that might disturb them. Attention is required because in baseball the ball comes at you at a fast speed. In the US kids at only the age of 8 throw baseball pitches at an average velocity of 39 MPH therefore with bad attention the connection can easily not occur.
For the better to improve on this sixth step of siding and connecting the ball they’ll have to keep repeating the step. Repeating the step will help the body get used to doing the processes I have discussed above. By repeating the step, it will most likely improve your visual perception, attention skills and striding at the right time. This is because as human beings for sport the more we do things the most likely our muscles and brain will remember how to act and adjust for different situations.ConclusionIn conclusion striding and connecting with a baseball is impossible without the essential involvement of cognitive and perceptual processes.
The cognitive and perceptual processes of Attention, Visual perception and Proprioception are all required to help the batter successfully complete the sixth step. With the absence of selective attention and visual perception, the batter would not be able to track the ball coming towards him. Without proprioception, batter wouldn’t be able to know their body position and move forward towards the ball with a stride(navigation) The combination of these three processes all help with striding and connecting with the baseball. Therefore, the more you repeat this step the more likely the way your body will get used to these processes therefore improving your success rate.
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