A Model of Motor Inhibition for a Complex Skill: Baseball Batting

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37 Scopus citations


The ability to inhibit an ongoing action in response to a signal from the environment is important for many perceptual-motor actions. This paper examines a particular example of this behavior: attempting to inhibit or "check" a swing in baseball batting. A model of motor inhibition in batting is proposed. In the model there are three different inhibition signals (out of range launch angle, early expected-actual trajectory discrepancy, and late expected-actual trajectory discrepancy) resulting in four possible response outcomes for the batter's swing (full swing, inhibited swing, partial response, or interrupted swing). The predictions of the model were compared with the actual batting performance of 20 baseball players using a high-fidelity batting simulator. The proportions of the different response outcomes could be explained by the inhibition model for 17/20 of the batters in the study. These findings suggest that models of motor inhibition developed for simple, discrete tasks can be applied to complex, multistage behaviors. This batting inhibition model could be used to provide a quantitative measure of a player's bat control for training and player-screening purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • baseball
  • inhibition
  • motor control
  • visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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