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In Review

COGNITIVE SCIENCEBreaking Good
curve (Photo: Adam Fenster)

Spin Cycle: Yellowjacket pitcher Rob Mabee ’15 and catcher Nolan Schultz ’17 help demonstrate the science behind why a curve ball can be baffling to so many baseball hitters. According to new research by Duje Tadin, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at Rochester, and colleagues at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, the brain uses a neurological algorithm much like that used by global positioning systems to estimate the path of the ball as it comes toward the batter. But the spin given the ball by the pitcher relative to the position of the batter often confuses that algorithm, making the flight of the ball seem to arc much more sharply than it actually does.