People’s ‘speed of sight’ varies and this may explain sporting prowess


There is wide variation in people’s ability to visually track fast-moving objects, which might explain why some of us are naturally better at ball sports

By Clare Wilson

A baseball thrown so fast it is a blur

Some people will see fast-moving objects more clearly, some just see a blur

Yuri Arcurs/Alamy

Our ability to perceive rapid changes in visual scenes over time – our “speed of sight” – varies a surprising amount between people, according to the first study to systematically investigate the question.

This suggests that some people can track fast-moving objects better than others because of their innate superior vision, which may contribute to people’s different abilities in sports like baseball and cricket, says Clinton Haarlem at Trinity College Dublin.

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