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Science

Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity 160

Posted by timothy
from the one-hemisphere-tied-behind-his-back dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "Brazilian superstar Neymar's (Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior) brain activity while dancing past opponents is less than 10 per cent the level of amateur players, suggesting he plays as if on "auto-pilot", according to Japanese neurologists Eiichi Naito and Satoshi Hirose. The findings were published in the Swiss journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience following a series of motor skills tests carried out on the 22-year-old Neymar and several other athletes in Barcelona in February this year. Three Spanish second-division footballers and two top-level swimmers were also subjected to the same tests. Researcher Naito told Japan's Mainichi Shimbun newspaper: "Reduced brain activity means less burden which allows [the player] to perform many complex movements at once. We believe this gives him the ability to execute his various shimmies." In the research paper Naito concluded that the test results "provide valuable evidence that the football brain of Neymar recruits very limited neural resources in the motor-cortical foot regions during foot movements"."
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Soccer Superstar Plays With Very Low Brain Activity

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  • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Saturday July 26, 2014 @09:50AM (#47538035)

    Malcolm Gladwell has an interesting take with his 10,000 hour theory. If you are passionate about something and you live and breath it for long enough, you obviously get good at it. Most people are not quite so fanatical - but this is a choice, meaning they could be if they wanted to. And what is intelligence anyway? How do you quantify it such that one person is born with more of it than someone else?

  • Turned Off Brain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Saturday July 26, 2014 @09:52AM (#47538045)
    Some people turn of thought when in a fight. It can be a learned talent and it makes ones response much faster and blows delivered much more accurate. The catch is that when in that state extra violence can be delivered as the person is on auto pilot. Courts have not dealt with this as so few people who do this can verbalize what was going on. I'm not so certain that the true capacity to form intent exists in a person in that state of mind. Even advanced chess players can get into a similar state in which they can calculate chess moves like a machine but are sort of not human for a bit after the game is over. A portion of their minds has been diverted elsewhere and it makes them sort of silly emotionally.
  • by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Sunday July 27, 2014 @01:20AM (#47541461) Homepage

    News flash: basement-bound nerds think being a world champion-caliber athlete is easy. Film at 11.

    Let go of your hatred of the dumb-ass jocks who got laid in high school but could never compete on a professional level, and consider that it might not be so brainless to be a world-class athlete. All this study says is that the very best athletes have learned to do it on autopilot, but for everyone else a lot of thinking is involved.

    Geeks can actually simulate the experience to a certain degree, given that some modern video games have evolved to a high degree of realism. Play "Madden NFL" on an expert difficulty level, and you'll see just how hard it can be for a NFL quarterback to try to read the movements of 11 defensive players simultaneously and pick the best route to throw the ball... even when you don't actually have to have the arm strength to throw it. Play "MLB the Show" on an expert level and you'll see how hard it can be to react in a tiny fraction of a second whether you're swinging at a 100 mph straight-ahead fastball, an 85 mph changeup that looks just like a fastball, a 90 mph slider that stars out straight but breaks away from the pitcher's arm, or a 70 mph knuckleball that just floats all over the fucking place.

    TL;DR - (some) video games these days are good enough to replicate just how hard professional level athletics are, even without the actual physical exertion. Please don't dismiss athletics as brainless if you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

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