As we know, different pitches have different types of spin, and some hitters are able to pick up that spin and use it to figure out what kind of pitch is on the way. That makes it a little easier to hit but doesn't guarantee success.
Seeing the spin is much easier said than done, of course, especially because our eyes and our brains tend to play tricks on us. This video, which was put together by a group of University of Rochester researchers, demonstrates a phenomenon known as the "curveball illusion," which basically tricks hitters into thinking a curveball is dropping quicker than it is. Check it out:
The illusions are believed to be created by assumptions your brain makes when something moves in your peripheral vision. When the hitter sees the spin, the brain can sometimes be tricked into thinking the ball is in a different spot than it really is. Here's another video explaining it with some more practical baseball applications:
Pretty neat stuff. It's not just the movement that makes a curveball nasty, it's the tricks the spin will play on a hitter's brain. Not fair.
(h/t BTF Newsblog)