Cognitive Psychology and Performance

The world of sports psychology continually tries to answer the various questions we have when it comes to motivation, discipline and performance in sports. Scientists have tried to understand and hypothesize how neural activity affects performance in crucial moments in sports history, one of those being Mark Price missing the record-tying shot from the charity stripe, which would have sealed his 90.4% shot record. Before Michael Williams of the Minnesota Timberworlves broke the record,  Mike Prince  I came across an interesting article named ” Why You Can’t Shoot The Same Foul Shot Twice” by Nikhil Swaminathan for Scientific American, and here is the main takeaway .

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A new study by Neuron, concluded that in play ” the brain does not plan the execution of a shot in the exactly the same fashion each step of the way”. In studying two Rhesus monkeys, scientists observed as the monkeys made simple practiced movements like reaching towards a target,. They focused on the individual neurons in the premotor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher functions like movement planning. In discovery, scientists found that off line neural activity is a major factor in predicting the speed of each reach.

 

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