Recognising the style of spatially exaggerated tennis serves

Perception. 2001;30(3):323-38. doi: 10.1068/p3064.


A technique for the construction of exaggerated human movements was developed and its effectiveness tested for the case of categorising tennis serves as flat, slice, or topspin. The technique involves treating movements as points in a high-dimensional space and uses average movements as the basis for constructing exaggerated movements. Exaggerated movements of a particular style are defined as those points in the space of movements which lie on a line originating at the style average and in the direction defined by the difference between the style average and the grand average. In order to visualise the movements, computer animation techniques were employed to transform the three-dimensional coordinates of the movement into the motion of a solid-body figure. These solid-body models were used in perceptual experiments to assess the effectiveness of the exaggeration technique. After an initial training session on the exemplars from the original library, subjects viewed the synthetic tennis-serve motions and in two separate sessions either made three-alternative, categorisation judgments after viewing a single serve or rated dissimilarity after viewing a pair of serves. Results from both accuracy in the categorisation task and structure of a multidimensional scaling solution of the matrix of dissimilarities indicated that, as distance from the grand average increased, the service motion became more distinct and more accurately identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Computer Graphics
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Tennis / physiology*