Frank Zaal

Frank Zaal
University of Groningen | RUG · Center for Human Movement Sciences

Ph.D.

About

79
Publications
27,441
Reads
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1,837
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2006 - December 2012
University of Groningen
July 2002 - present
University of Groningen
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 1998 - June 2002
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • PostDoc in a project on fly-ball catching with Claire Michaels and on the dynamics of reaching.

Publications

Publications (79)
Article
The present study examined the kinematics of maximal effort sprint running, mapping the relations among a person’s maximal running speed, maximum running acceleration and the distance coverable in a certain amount of time by this person. Thirty-three participants were recruited to perform a simple sprint task. Both forward and backward running were...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: In many sports situations, two or more players need to coordinate their actions to make sure that one of them intercepts a ball or opponent. We considered how two soccer players head back a thrown ball. Two accounts for the joint decision making by both players were considered. These two accounts not only differ in their theoretical basis...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study explored the informational variables guiding steering behaviour in a locomotor interception task with targets moving along circular trajectories. Using a new method of analysis focussing on the temporal co-evolution of steering behaviour and the potential information sources driving it, we set out to invalidate reliance on plausible info...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crew rowing is often quoted as a natural example of perfect unity. A crew of rowers aims to optimize performance by perfectly moving in synchrony, while they apply all their power at maximum stroke rate. But do they necessarily need to move in in-phase synchrony? It has been suggested that crew members may complement each other’s movements by rowin...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crew rowing is often quoted as a natural example of perfect unity. A crew of rowers aims to optimize performance by perfectly moving in synchrony, while they apply all their power at maximum stroke rate. But do they necessarily need to move in in-phase synchrony? It has been suggested that crew members may complement each other’s movements by rowin...
Article
Abstract of presentation at 41st European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP) 2018 Trieste. In many situations, in daily life, people show coordinated behaviour to attain a shared goal. In the present contribu- tion, we consider a “double-pong” task, modelled after sports situations in which teams of players have to inter- cept a ball (e.g., re...
Article
Full-text available
Although most research on interpersonal coordination focuses on perceptual forms of interaction, many interpersonal actions also involve interactions of mechanical nature. We examined the effect of mechanical coupling in a rowing task from a coupled oscillator perspective: 16 pairs of rowers rowed on ergometers that were physically connected throug...
Article
Full-text available
In this experimental study, we tested whether athletes’ judgments of affordances and of environmental features vary with psychological momentum (PM). We recruited golf, hockey, and tennis players, who were assigned to a positive or negative momentum condition. We designed a golf course on which participants made practice putts, after which they wer...
Article
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We studied how teams of two players of different skill level intercepted approaching balls in the doubles-pong task. In this task, the two players moved their on-screen paddles along a shared interception axis, so that the approaching ball was intercepted by one of the paddles and that the paddles did not collide. Earlier work revealed the presence...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In crew rowing, agents need to coordinate their movements to achieve optimal performance. Although, traditionally, rowers aim to move perfectly in sync, it has been suggested that rowing in antiphase may actually be mechanically more efficient. From coordination dynamics, the antiphase pattern is expected to be less stable, especially with an incre...
Poster
Although most research on interpersonal coordination focuses on perceptual forms of interaction [1], many interpersonal tasks, such as crew rowing, also involve interactions of mechanical nature. There is no way to escape from such mechanical influences, as agents physically move each other. As such, the stringent nature of the mechanical coupling...
Data
Supplemental material Figure 1 (Experimental setup) Supplemental material Table 1 Supplemental material Table 2
Article
Full-text available
In a group-serve-reception task, how does serve-reception become effective? We addressed “who” receives/passes the ball, what task-related variables predict action mode selection and whether the action mode selected was associated with reception efficacy. In 182 serve-receptions we tracked the ball and the receivers’ heads with two video-cameras to...
Article
How do outfielders control their locomotor behavior in running to catch fly balls? This question has been the topic of many empirical studies. It is interesting that a little addressed but highly relevant issue in this regard is that of the influence of perceived catchability on locomotor control. We examined what factors determine catchability and...
Article
In many daily situations, our behavior is coordinated with that of others. This study investigated this coordination in a doubles-pong task. In this task, two participants each controlled a paddle that could move laterally near the bottom of a shared computer screen. With their paddles, the players needed to block balls that moved down under an ang...
Article
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017. Seeking or avoiding contact with stationary and moving targets is at the heart of many day-to-day behavior in humans and other animals. A close inspection of the visual control of such behavior shows that different strategies seem to be used in different situations. For instance, when considering a lateral-in...
Article
Full-text available
The optical acceleration cancelation (OAC) strategy, based on Chapman's (1968) analysis of the outfielder problem, has been the dominant account for the control of running to intercept fly balls approaching head on. According to the OAC strategy, outfielders will arrive at the interception location just in time to catch the ball when they keep opti...
Article
Full-text available
In this contribution we set out to study how a team of two players coordinated their actions so as to intercept an approaching ball. Adopting a doubles-pong task, six teams of two participants each intercepted balls moving downward across a screen toward an interception axis by laterally displacing participant-controlled on-screen paddles. With col...
Article
Full-text available
Serve and serve-reception performance have predicted success in volleyball. Given the impact of serve-reception on the game, we aimed at understanding what it is in the serve and receiver's actions that determines the selection of the type of pass used in serve-reception and its efficacy. Four high-level volleyball players received jump-float serve...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Professional Volleyball receivers are highly skillful in collaborating when defending their court from the serve. In previous research, we found the Voronoi Generalized Diagram to describe the way the court is collaboratively defended by three receivers. They are at the same time interacting with the opposing server/ball. In the present study, four...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In crew rowing, agents need to coordinate their movements while physically connected through the boat they share. Modelling a rowing crew as a system of coupled oscillators predicts that the stability of crew coordination decreases with increasing stroke rate. However, rowing literature suggests that crew synchronisation might actually improve at h...
Article
Full-text available
Previous work on locomotor interception of a target moving in the transverse plane has suggested that interception is achieved by maintaining the target’s bearing angle (often inadvertently confused and/or confounded with the target heading angle) at a constant value. However, dynamics-based model simulations testing the veracity of the underlying...
Article
Full-text available
In many sports, successfully intercepting a ball requires players to move both their body and their arms. Yet, studies of interception typically focus on one or the other. We performed an analysis of the moments of first foot and arm movements of elite-level volleyball players during serve reception. Video footage of five international matches of t...
Article
Full-text available
In rowing, perfect synchronisation is important for optimal performance of a crew. Remarkably, a recent study on ergometers demonstrated that antiphase crew coordination might be mechanically more efficient by reducing the power lost to within-cycle velocity fluctuations of the boat. However, coupled oscillator dynamics predict the stability of the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In crew rowing, agents need to perfectly coincide into a common rhythm. In fact, the interpersonal synchronisation is regarded as one of the main determinants for optimal crew performance. A rowing crew can vary the timing of the strokes, yielding stroke rates from 18 strokes per minute (spm) during endurance training up to 42 spm during racing. Mo...
Article
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Earlier studies have revealed that the calibration of an action sometimes transfers in a functionally specific way-the calibration of one action transfers to other actions that serve the same goal, even when they are performed with different anatomical structures. In the present study, we tested whether attunement (the process by which perceivers l...
Article
Full-text available
In point-to-point reaching movements, the trajectory of the fingertip along the horizontal plane is not completely straight but slightly curved sideward. The current paper examines whether this horizontal curvature is related to the height to which the finger is lifted. Previous research suggested that the height to which the hand is lifted might b...
Article
Full-text available
The classic understanding of prehension is that of coordinated reaching and grasping. An alternative view is that the grasping in prehension emerges from independently controlled individual digit movements (the double-pointing model). The current study tested this latter model in bimanual prehension: participants had to grasp an object between thei...
Article
Full-text available
When faced with a fly ball approaching along the sagittal plane, fielders need information for the control of their running to the interception location. This information could be available in the initial part of the ball trajectory, such that the interception location can be predicted from its initial conditions. Alternatively, such predictive inf...
Article
Full-text available
In lateral interception tasks balls converging onto the same interception location via different trajectories give rise to systematic differences in the kinematics of hand movement. While it is generally accepted that this angle-of-approach effect reflects the prospective (on-line) control of movement, controversy exists with respect to the informa...
Article
Full-text available
To extend research on decision-making in sport we addressed the choices vol-leyball-players are faced with in a simple volleyball pass-return task. We manipu-lated the distance that eight experienced volleyball players had to cover for success-ful ball passing, and mapped their passing technique (i.e., overhead or underhand) and ball return accurac...
Article
Full-text available
We give a historical overview of the development of almost 50 years of empirical research on the affordances in the past and in the present. Defined by James Jerome Gibson in the early development of the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action as the prime of perception and action, affordances have become a rich topic of investigation in the f...
Article
Full-text available
A true understanding of skilled behavior includes the identification of the information that underlies the perception-action cycle at work. Often, observers' sensitivity to perceptual variables is established in laboratory-situated simulation-based psychophysical experiments. The observers' sensitivity thus determined is then used to draw conclusio...
Article
Although variations in the standard prehensile pattern can be found in the literature, these alternative patterns have never been studied systematically. This was the goal of the current paper. Ten participants picked up objects with a pincer grip. Objects (3, 5, or 7cm in diameter) were placed at 30, 60, 90, or 120cm from the hands' starting locat...
Article
To catch or grasp an object, the initiation of hand closure has to be coordinated with the relative movement between hand and object. In search of a common control of the initiation of hand closure for both tasks (van de Kamp, Bongers, & Zaal, 2010), the authors studied two tasks, catching while keeping the hand stationary and prehension. They show...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual reality (VR) holds great promise for the study of perception-action. The case of studying the outfielder problem is presented as an example of how VR has contributed to our understanding of perception-action, and of the potential and pitfalls of using VR in such a task. The outfielder problem refers to the situation in a baseball game (and...
Article
Both in the catching and grasping component of prehension, the hand opens and closes before hand-object contact is made. The initiation of hand closure has to be coordinated with the time course of the decrease of the distance between the hand and the target object, i.e., with the reaching component in prehension or the approach of the target in ca...
Article
Point-to-point movements constrained to the horizontal plane are generally straight, although they exhibit slight deviations from straightness. Unconstrained horizontal movements (i.e., movements where the hand is lifted) are more curved in their projection onto the horizontal plane than constrained movements. It has been argued that this differenc...
Article
Full-text available
The authors tested how fast the grasp component of prehension was able to adjust to a sudden change in object size. Participants grasped an object, the size of which could suddenly increase. Whereas previous researchers usually applied perturbations through a change in illumination at movement onset, the present perturbations involved a change in t...
Article
Full-text available
Prehension has traditionally been seen as the act of coordinated reaching and grasping. However, recently, Smeets and Brenner (in Motor Control 3:237-271, 1999) proposed that we might just as well look at prehension as the combination of two independently moving digits. The hand aperture that has featured prominently in many studies on prehension,...
Article
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Runeson, Juslin, and Olsson (2000) proposed (a) that perceptual learning entails a transition from an inferential to a direct-perceptual mode of apprehension, and (b) that relative confidence—the difference between estimated and actual performance—indicates whether apprehension is inferential or direct. In 3 experiments participants received feedba...
Article
Full-text available
The speed of adult reaching movements is lawfully related to the distance of the reach and the size of the target. The authors had 7-, 9-, and 11-month-old infants reach for small and large targets to investigate a possible relation between the emergence of this speed-accuracy trade-off and the improvements in infants' ability to pick up tiny objec...
Article
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In prehension, the opening and closing of the hand need to be coordinated with the transport of that same hand. We provide evidence for the hypothesis that this coordination is based on the use of first-order time-to-contact information. This information acts to affect the relative stability of a hand opening regime and a hand closing regime, leadi...
Article
We suggest that τ may not be used to guide reaches. The reasons are: (1) targeted reaching is an intrinsically spatial task that requires information about length dimensioned properties (i.e. object distance, size, and/or velocity); (2) τ is time dimensioned and thus provides no spatial information. A τ variable can be constructed from perceived sp...
Article
Full-text available
Visually guided action implies the existence of information as well as a control law relating that information to movement. For ball catching, the Chapman Strategy--keeping constant the rate of change of the tangent of the elevation angle (d(tan(alpha))/dt)--leads a catcher to the right location at the right time to intercept a fly ball. Previous s...
Article
Two experiments are reported in which bimanual coordination tasks were performed under correct and transformed visual feedback conditions. Participants were to generate cyclical line-drawing patterns, with varying degrees of coordinative stability, while perceiving correct or transformed visual information of the trajectories on a screen. Visuo-mot...
Article
Full-text available
In response to Milner and Goodale's (1995) interpretations of the dorsal and ventral streams and to empirical results on punching of falling balls, Michaels (2000) argued for the acceptance of a certain separation of perception and action. Awareness of properties of the environment, which are important for telling, was tentatively separated from th...
Article
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Relative phase has been studied extensively as a measure of interlimb coordination. Only two relative phases, namely 0 degrees and 180 degrees, are stably produced at the preferred frequency (approximately 1 Hz). When frequency is increased, movement at 180 degrees becomes unstable and relative phase typically switches to 0 degrees, which remains s...
Article
Full-text available
Relative phase has been studied extensively as a measure of interlimb coordination. Only two relative phases, namely 0° and 180°, are stably produced at the preferred frequency (∼1Hz). When frequency is increased, movement at 180° becomes unstable and relative phase typically switches to 0°, which remains stable at higher frequencies. The current s...
Article
Full-text available
Prehension is the act of coordinated reaching and grasping. S.A. Wallace, E. Stevenson, A. Spear, D.L. Weeks [Hum. Movement Sci. 13 (1994) 255±289] proposed to assess the stability of this coordination by scanning the dynamics of prehension. The scanning method proposed by these authors prompted participants to position their peak hand aperture at...
Article
Full-text available
Psychophysical studies reveal distortions in perception of distance and shape. Are reaches calibrated to eliminate distortions? Participants reached to the front, side, or back of a target sphere. In Experiment 1, feedforward reaches yielded distortion and outward drift. In Experiment 2, haptic feedback corrected distortions and instability. In Exp...
Article
Full-text available
Perception of relative phase and phase variability may play a fundamental role in interlimb coordination. This study was designed to investigate the perception of relative phase and of phase variability and the stability of perception in each case. Observers judged the relative phasing of two circles rhythmically moving on a computer display. The c...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, Gottlieb and colleagues discovered a linear relation between elbow and shoulder dynamic torque in natural pointing movements in the sagittal plane. The present study investigates if the process of learning to reach involves discovering this linearity principle. We inspected torque data from four infants who were learning to reach and grab...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of bimanual coordination have found that only two stable relative phases (0 degree and 180 degrees) are produced when a participant rhythmically moves two joints in different limbs at the same frequency. Increasing the frequency of oscillation causes an increase in relative phase variability in both of these phase modes. However, relative p...
Article
Full-text available
The nature of the interrelations among movement amplitude, movement time, and peak velocity was addressed in 2 experiments in which participants reached for stationary and moving objects. Movement time was found to scale with the distance between the hand and the object at the onset of movement but to be relatively independent of object speed. Peak...
Article
Full-text available
Studies of bimanual coordination have found that only two stable relative phases (0° and 180°) are produced when a participant rhythmically moves two joints in different limbs at the same frequency. Increasing the frequency of oscillation causes an increase in relative phase variability in both of these phase modes. However, relative phasing at 180...
Article
Full-text available
The trade-off between speed and accuracy and the patterning of movement kinematics have been central issues for theories of human movement for almost a century. In the present contribution experimentally obtained kinematics of reciprocal aiming movements, performed under different task conditions, are modelled as resulting from a single non-linear...