The example of the musicians showed that it is indeed possible to satisfy every item of the check list. The following example presents another very successful usage of anticipation in rallye motorsport. Please take a look at the following article if you are unfamiliar with rallying. The high speed is only possible due to a previous modelling of the track. The driver and co-driver inspect the track and compile so-called pace notes. Later on, the co-driver dictates the pace notes to the driver. The pace notes allow the driver to create an internal model of the track. Depending on the model, he may follow the track properly and make use of the potential of his car. The example adds new aspects since the internal model must be created in real time under time pressure. You will see that the rally driver’s situation is different in comparison to the musicians´. The separation of rehearsal and performance doesn’t have the appeal of a creation in real-time.
The following videos show some examples:
German pace notes, but you actually see them, for example at 0:15
Pace notes in English (The screaming and the repetition of paces notes is not a standard)
As a side note, we take a short look at the communication between the driver and his co-driver. It is vital that the co-driver relates all the necessary information to the driver. Therefore, the pace notes must contain all important patterns. Any errors in the pace notes might lead to a direct failure, in this case an accident. The language used is set and reduced to clear commands. This minimizes the time for detecting and interpreting the words. I will present the working techniques for examining communication in later blog entries. These aspects are important for passing on information to opponents in a precise and controlled manner, e.g. for feints. The forgoing points are just a short overview. They are derived from a systematic approach with communication psychology. These points are not part of the following check list. Usually, they are part of a detailed analysis. The check list concentrates exclusively on the aspects of the track. Additionally, we take a look at the scenario without pace notes.
1, Are patterns or traits available? All the time?
The necessary visual information is available. Remember, this question targets the availability of sensory information, not whether the internal processes keep track of them. An example for non-available information is a hidden surface. For example, fallen leaves might cover up the surface (gravel, mud, tarmac, etc.). Information about the surface structure is therefore unavailable. Thus, it is impossible to choose an appropriate style of driving. This is very dangerous and must be avoided at all costs. The boundaries of anticipation are already fully stretched in rallying.
2. Is there enough time to identify and interpret the stimuli?
We have to differentiate between the two scenarios; with or without pace notes. The pace notes deliver the necessary sensory information in advance. The driver relies on the early availability of the information. The internal model and the target stimulus are derived from the pace notes. Thus, the necessary time to detect and interpret sensory information in real time is reduced to a minimum. The visual information in real time is only necessary for the actual stimulus. The pace notes form a kind of sensory equivalent for reality. Remember this combination (sensory equivalent + actual stimulus) for later analyses. Do not take this sensory equivalent for granted. In summary, the time is sufficient, since the circular process is not overloaded with the detection and interpretation of stimulus (despite the actual stimulus). The inherent errors of the circular process (like signal propagation delays, etc.) are no big deal.
Closer look at the circular process (highly simplified)
To be continued — Anticipation, Rallying, Part 2