Magazine says athletes' brains wired differently

Tue, Mar 2
BrainAP Photo

So Discover magazine did this study where it looked at something many thought never existed: an athlete's brain.


I know you want to laugh, but this is legit.

Imagine how I felt opening a magazine thinking I was going to dive deep into the cover story on three new radical theories that challenge Einstein, only to find myself reading about karate champions' sleep patterns and split-second decisions made by Derek Jeter.

For over two years, Reza Shadmehr of Johns Hopkins University and John Krakauer of Columbia University studied how world-class athletes think (and react) differently than the rest of us. From their various methods of researching and collecting data from neuroscientists and electric stimulation, conclusions were drawn that not only are athletes' actions "much more than a set of automatic responses," but their "brains can find better solutions than ours do."


I know you want to stop reading, but give me a minute. I want to convince you that the study has a merit.

See, the problem is not in the solutions found, but in the cynicism outside the science world that makes it virtually impossible to believe that Kobe deciding whether to pull up from 3 or go to the hole is worth scientists from Rome, Australia, and the United States trying to figure out why he did one and not the other. It's not that serious.

Seriously, it is.

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