Monthly Archives: January 2012

Controlling Movement Is Your Brain’s Only Purpose

via Axon Sports

Daniel Wolpert is absolutely certain about one thing.  “We have a brain for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements,” stated Wolpert, Director of the Computational and Biological Learning Lab at the University of Cambridge.  “Movement is the only way you have of affecting the world around you.”  After that assertive opening to his 2011 TED Talk, he reported that, despite this important purpose, we have a long way to go in understanding of how exactly the brain controls our movements. The evidence for this is in how well we’ve learned to mimic our movements using computers and robots.  For example, take the game …

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Searching For The Secret To Success In Sports

via Axon Sports

An athlete’s level of greatness is often measured by the opinions of his or her peers while they’re playing.  Being recognized as one of the best by those who understand what it takes is rare.  The mystery lies in the secret ingredient that separates the great players from the masses. After 17 seasons, Paul Scholes of Manchester United thought he had played in his final tribute game last summer and would become a coach at the club he’s been part of since his teens.  Yet, in a surprise to everyone, he suited up for an FA Cup match earlier this month and is planning to stay on the active roster through …

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Teaching Your Brain How To Play Soccer

via Axon Sports

When describing what’s wrong with today’s youth soccer coaching, Michel Bruyninckx points to his head. “We need to stop thinking football is only a matter of the body,” the 59-year old Belgian Uefa A license coach and Standard Liège academy director recently told the BBC. “Skillfulness will only grow if we better understand the mental part of developing a player. Cognitive readiness, improved perception, better mastering of time and space in combination with perfect motor functioning.” We’re not talking about dribbling around orange cones here.  Bruyninckx’s approach, which he dubs “brain centered learning” borrows heavily from the constructivist theory of education that involves a total immersion of the student in the …

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How Your Brain Manages Muscle Fatigue

via Axon Sports

Endurance athletes, both competitive and weekend warriors, know the feeling. Out on a long run or bike ride, their muscles start to feel a lot heavier the closer they get to their training distance goal.  While it makes sense that your muscles would get more tired the longer you go, sometimes it feels as if your brain is convincing you not to have any illusions of going past the agreed upon training distance.  Now, researchers at the University of Zurich have discovered that there is a control valve mechanism in the brain that actually decreases muscle performance and sends increased fatigue signals to your conscious mind to provide overload protection for …

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