Archery Talk Forum banner
1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
does the shot actually happen?

In the experiments of Benjamin Libet, and presented in the book, ----Brain Sciences, 1985, he, and others have showed that the earliest that one may exhibit experiential awarness of a sensory stimulus occurs about 500 milliseconds (0.5 seconds) after the stimulus itself.

In this information is found that none of our experiences of perception are instantaneous, but delayed for one half second after the actual events. This delay is required for neurological electrical potentials to rise to the level necessary for experiential awarness. This delay is termed the "RP," or readiness potential, and was determined by implanting surgically, electrodes within the brain.

These findings demonstrate that it is impossible to respond violitionally in less than 500 milliseconds to any stimulus since data proves the speed of reaction, by the brain alone is a time-frame measurable by implanted electrodes.

These measurements do not take into account the speed of conduction of the nerves carrying the signal of action to the skeletal muscles. Such conduction is also measurable and is found to be 1/50th second per meter; but, that is after the brain's processing the initial stimulus, and relaying impulses to the skeletal muscles to initiate action in them.

What does this mean to archers? Did the shot really happen when you perceived it did? Did it happen at exactly the most opportune moment of release? Did your mind's eye accurately "call" the location of the shot?

Ah ha, Libet, and others did discover more profound experiences. They discovered that subjects, rather than responding to sensory stimuli, were "volitionally" initiating muscle response in less that the "RP" time of 500-1050 milliseconds. How was this discovered? Again, by measuring reaction time by electrically-timed monitoring electrodes. The subjects were asked to submit readings of an electronic clock's prescribed time and respond with the pushing of a switch at a perscribed time.

The pushing of the switch could result in lessening the "RP" time by some 350 milliseconds. (Shades of "Punching the Trigger?)

Even though findings indicated that one may shorten the volitional recognition of performance of an act, the time to recognition still remained at a deficit to the actual happening of an event.

What does all this information show? That everything that happens, happens before we are electrically aware of its happening. There is always a time lag between any neurological or sensory process, and our awareness of the sensation or action which represents it. Or in other words, subjective awareness always lags objective awareness.

It is amazing how one may hold the bow as still as possible, all the while squeezing the trigger until the shot happens at the most opportune moment!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,707 Posts
WOW L-ROY

What did you say and who paid for all this testing. In what way will it better my archery? I sure like the sound of it. Thanks for sharing. :D ;) WR
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
Hmm... and I guess it must take something like 15ms for the string to leave the bow?

15ms << 500ms.

So, a surprise break is probably guaranteed to be fast enough to escape even an intentional response to it.

kgk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,764 Posts
"So, a surprise break is probably guaranteed to be fast enough to escape even an intentional response to it."

You would think so, but practical experience shows that the archer can subtlety influence the shot, by his interaction with the bow.

It's an interesting study , but archery is a little more complex than pushing a button on command. And if you look at what is actually happening there are at least focal points of intervention. One is when the archer initiates the shot, the second is the archer reacting to the shot. Often in archery we talk about a "surprise" release, but it really isn't that much of a surprise. We are a pretty complex wired creature and the learning curve to anticipate what will happen within a repetitive motion is pretty short.

So for example, in the task of shooting an arrow there are two aspects (there are probably more if you decided to really break down the subroutine), first you are aiming through a scope with a dot floating on the target, secondly you are using a release. As the brain learns to co-ordinate this complex activity over time, it learns at exactly what point the release will go off (or close enough relative to the body's movement). So after a while the brain leans that as the dot is perceived to pass over the x to release to initiate the shot by subtlety moving to the release trigger point. Which is fine except as science indicates there is a neurological chemical/electrical time lag of ~500ms. So if the arrow was released at the point where we perceived the X to be then chances are that by the time the signaling occurred the dot would no longer be on the X.

This is all well and good except by practical experience we can demonstrate that well trained archers are able to consistently hit a relatively small target (Vegas/FITA X) fairly consistently - where the dot is floating on and off the X. So how do they do it, well they anticipate - the brain understands the desired end result (an X), and after many repetitions of trial and error (training) the brain learns that in order to achieve the desired end result given the time lag, it has to anticipate a point before the X to start the triggering. So the as long as the degree of float is controlled (predictable) in the aiming aspect, and the release trigger is controlled (predictable), there is an X. Except I think that the mechanism I described is pretty simplistic.

In shooting a bow, the archer is holding weight both in mass and in draw weight, at the same time s/he is controlling the torsion in the string, the tension in their bow hand/forearm keeping his/her balance, along with many other subtle and non-conscious tasks. So if the archer can anticipate the shot with a trigger, they can anticipate it with other aspects. If the dot is floating but it is outside the desired range of float, adding a little arm tension/movement “steers” it back to the expected range. But over-anticipating is a problem as well, you can train yourself to initiate the trigger far to early, or steer the floating movement far too much – this is bad anticipation. So while you don’t truly have a surprise release, you have to objectively work/train for a perceived surprise release in order that you don’t over-anticipate. This is the reason some archers use multiple releases, they start to over-anticipate the shot execution task, and switching to a new trigger point forces the brain to find (control) the new trigger point – as many athletes in many sports have found, keeping the body/movement slightly off balance, often leads to the best performance in a task, or series of tasks. To all of this add attention span (focus) problems, inadvertent movement, neurons misfiring, greasy pizza for lunch, environmental conditions (wind), etc.

So what makes a top archer? In my estimation it is the one that can co-ordinate the anticipation of the shot execution task better than other archers. No one is 100% effective in achieving the task – but you only need to be 1% better than the person beside you at any given time…


;)

-CG
 

·
X's R Us
Joined
·
3,458 Posts
OK could the rest of us have that explained in layman terms?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,783 Posts
The "30-inch steer" works.

You know, the one where you release, you know it's not on the gold, so you white-knuckle the bow and yank it so that the sight ends up in the middle.

Well, if done correctly, anyway. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,483 Posts
This is just proof that a suprise release is key to consistantly shooting good scores.

CG,

I'm sorry. I don't buy the anticipated release to steer a slightly out shot into the X. I believe that top archers have practiced aiming for so long that their "float" never leaves the X.

I don't believe in the 30" steer.

I believe in aiming with everything you've got and a suprise release. Works for me.
 

·
EPLC Stabilization 4-Sale
Joined
·
9,493 Posts
L-Roy said:
...was determined by implanting surgically, electrodes within the brain...

And who was the genius that volunteered for that little gem of an experiment? Not to mention the test was probably flawed due to the 6.2 alcohol blood level of the test subject... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
CG,
Dead On !!!!!!!!

This is also one more attempt to say that an archer cannot put some "English" on a shot and make it go in because he SUPPOSEDLY cannot react fast enough to do it while the arrow is still in the bow.. It can be argued until the cows come home BUT.. I have done it.. I have seen it done by the best and it works.. NOT ALWAYS but it works....Even though some may say that there is no such thing as a "SURPISE RELEASE" in reality... The Archer still THINKS it is and that is all that matters...It is similar to a conditioned response where the Archer has trained his subconcious to recognize a poorly aimed shot and TRY to correct it before the shot occurs..There are SO MANY subconcious corrections and muscle movements going on during a shot that the sight NEVER really sits still so in essence the Archer's sight is ALWAYS moving in and out of the desired aiming point...So it becomes a timing issue where as the actual release activation is started at one point and it goes off at another... I DO NOT believe that this is punching or that something is happening that the Archer doesn't know is happening even if it is subconciously it is STILL a "surprise release"to the Archer...Using the above example a Archer could SEE the dot in wrong place a signal is sent from the eye to the brain then the bowarm and within the "response time" the shot could break AFTER the correction has been made giving the APPEARENCE to the witness that the correction came AFTER the shot broke even though the correction STARTED before...In this short amount of time a person watching would see the END RESULT of the bowarm moving wildely off line yet the shot would go in the middle because the correction was DONE being made while the arrow was still in the bow but the movement continued after the shot was made...Meaning that the arrow went RIGHT WHERE the eye was looking NOT where the bow was aimed the whole time......Pro1
 

·
EPLC Stabilization 4-Sale
Joined
·
9,493 Posts
I agree with CG & Pro1... The shot should be subconscious, not unconscious... The subconscious mind makes corrections and adjustments all the time. Just because there is no forethought doesn't mean it doesn't happen, its done without having to apply conscious thought to the process.

In other words the answer is already there so the mind doesn't have to figure it out to attempt the proper solution...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
As Mr. Spock would say, "fascinating". I have always theorized that allowing the subconscious to do the job works better. When I used to spar with a guy, I never got any really great punches in until I stopped thinking about punching (made something that telegraphed the punch) and just let my subconscious take over for that part.

In archery, a guy that came back from a shooter's school told me about the mechanics of the "surprise release". What it is not is UNCONSCIOUS. It is the steady application of back tension as long as the pin is wavering back and forth (more like a figure 8) across the target. If the time to release is too long or something doesn't feel right then it is time to let down. If everything is alright the back tension continues until release without concern that some wavering around the bullseye is going on. This is because the subconscious mind will move the arm to pull the pin over the bullseye at THE TIME of release. To do this then it would seem that the subconscious has a shorter path to the control than the conscious mind.

Anyway, it is sort of like being a Jedi Warrior and letting THE FORCE take over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,483 Posts
CG & Pro1,

Maybe I haven't shot enough or I'm not good enought to notice/do it, but I disagree. I think that any kind of anticipation or forced correction, even with a suprise release is going to lead you down the path to target panic.

Maybe top pros can force a slightly out shot back in by applying a little english to it. But for us mere mortals this kind of advise is going to cause us to start thinking too much while shooting and cause problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
baldmountain,
Good Point.. If it was a CONCIOUS thought that you had to do to put the "English" on with you would be in trouble...The one I am talking about is a SUBconcious correction that is done WITHOUT your knowledge and becomes an "automatic" response through practice and experience...ANYONE will do this without even knowing it and as I said it is subconcious and out of your control... ANYTIME you overthink ANYTHING you will start to get yourself in trouble.... The above falls under the General statement of "Let the shot happen"...I am also not saying that you should practice this because you can't...When I have the "English" occur (which is NOT very ofter) it just happens without me even thinking about it... What I am saying is with enough shooting it will just happen....EVERYONE tries to hold the dot in the middle but to make the arrow land there takes MANY corrections and the concious mind can only concentrate on ONE THING at a time.. So the rest has to be done subconciously and WILL if you learn to let it happen....Hope this helps...Pro1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,483 Posts
Pat,

I agree. I NEVER try and force a shot into the the center. I just aim as hard as I can and let the inherent orderliness of the mind cause everything to line up when the release fires.

I believe we are thinking along the same lines. It's just that the imprecise nature of the written word is getting in the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
I'm not sure if high-power rifle is analogous to archery, but David Tubb (one of the greatest riflemen in the world) has an "approach" to the target. He goes from the right, if I recall, and slowly crosses 9, 10, X, and fires as he crosses the X.

He has a fantastic book, called (as you can guess) "HIGHPOWER RIFLE."

I postulate that many extremely advanced shooters have approaches to the target, and their "surprise break" happens in a narrow window of time.

kgk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,764 Posts
Baldmountain;

"But for us mere mortals this kind of advise is going to cause us to start thinking too much while shooting and cause problems."

Just like Pro1 said, don't overthink what you are doing, when you are shooting.

When you are shooting; concentrate at the point of focus (x), blank you mind, execute the the shot with gradual BT, and work for a suprize release.

The actual neuro/chemical/electrical process of what is happening, isn't as important as concentrating on your shot. There are a lot of top shooters who probably haven't given the underlying mechanism much thought, but they are top shooters none the less. Over time they mastered the learned task and they accomplish it over and over.

What I am saying seems to be counter-intuitive but the longer you shoot the more you see how there is a subconcious (subjective) mechanism underlying your shots. On days where you are shakey and the range of float is larger than it normally is (say red to red), you can "trick" arrows into the X, that have no right to be anywhere near the X. The only problem is that if you try to objectively control the "trick" - it all falls apart.

;)

-CG

-CG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,483 Posts
CG,

I agree. I shot my AT outdoor league round this morning. Even though I didn't feel really solid I beat my personal best by 18 points. There were a few tens that I thought were going to be 8s or 7s because of where I was pointing when the release fired.

But I did feel like I shot more arrows with a good subconsious BT release than I have ever shot in a round.

Today is a good day...
 

·
EPLC Stabilization 4-Sale
Joined
·
9,493 Posts
I'm working on the "Trust" portion of this issue and have actually gotten to the point where I can do it in streaks. Last Sunday at a local 3D shoot I had a streak in the middle where I shot six 12's in eight targets and Wednesday in our clubs 15 target 3D league I shot five 12's in a row at one point. Problem is I'm still taking it back and then I loose it for a while...

The subconscious is an amazing thing. When I just let it fly the arrows just seem to go where they are supposed to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,927 Posts
Man I REALLY need to pay more attention to typing and even proof reading my stuff..ha,ha.. How many times did I MISspell
CONSCIOUS and SUBCONSCIOUS in my posts..Geez what a dork..ha,ha...LOL...Pro1
 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top