The model for anticipating movements isn’t completed yet, but the following example clarifies the circular process that was presented in the first part.
Circular process for forming an internal model
This example is especially fabricated and can be carried out easily. There is no need for a special training area, only a willing partner and a table you can put your hands on. Give it a try, and you will notice the capabilities and problems with anticipation relatively quickly.
OK. Ask your partner to sit across the table from you. Now lay down one of your hands, palm facing up or down. Your partner should lay down his opposite hand mirroring yours. One sets the rhythm and begins moving his hand from left to right with constant speed, just like a windshield wiper. The other one tries to follow this movement. Start slowly and, important, always move your hand to exactly the same spots, left and right. After some seconds, the speed can be increased in very small steps. Then, once again, keep that speed constant for a few seconds.
Your partner should be able to follow this movement easily, even though the speed is increasing. Take a look at the foregoing model and its circular process. Your partner is continuously monitoring what is happening and the internal model allows adjustments.
Let’s introduce some problems. The exercise was relatively fixed in terms of speed and displacement. Please keep in mind how fast your partner was able to follow when speed and maximum displacement were fixed. Now, we will introduce the first variant: First, keep the speed relatively constant and after slowly increasing the speed, once again keep it constant for a few more seconds. After reaching a relatively high speed, start changing the maximum displacement points (see the following figure). Usually, at a certain speed, your partner will not be able to follow you. Try to find this speed boundary for yourself. The other parameter you can play with is the way speed is increased. Try increasing speed quickly, or even decreasing it, instead of just slowly increasing speed as before. This should cause your partner quite a bit of trouble.
This is what I mentioned before (Anticipation, Part 1). The reaction chain, with its´ consecutively evolving process, can model only very restricted cases. The circular process allows for these problems and will be used in later blog entries as a more general model. These problems emerge, because each element in the process adds some delays. These delays add up, and after passing a certain limit, the internal model can no longer be formed in a timely manner. Only the internal model allows for following hand movements at high speeds. It replaces the partially restricted or already exceeded perception limit. As soon as a final tolerance limit of the circular process is exceeded, the whole movement breaks down.
As you may have already noticed, the speed boundary for the creation of internal models is relatively low in this example. Please keep in mind that these models are absolutely necessary for planning movements and changing your own behavior (Application of Patterns and Traits, Part 3).
A final note: Perhaps you are familiar with the saying that fast moving objects are harder to hit. Well, quite honestly, this rule is insufficient. One has to add the detail that this fast moving object must move in a manner that doesn’t allow for the development of an internal model of that object. An object can move very fast. If it shows certain patterns, it can be easily targeted by forming a suitable internal model.