Navigation Links
Black Belts' Punching Power Linked to Their Brain Structure

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The mind may be mightier than the fist, according to a new study that found that people's ability to throw a powerful punch may be linked to the control of muscle movement by the brain, not muscle strength itself.

After examining the brains of karate experts, researchers in London found that differences in the structure of their brains' "white matter" were associated with their ability to generate extremely powerful punches. White matter refers to the connections between different brain regions.

"Most research on how the brain controls movement has been based on examining how diseases can impair motor skills," study leader Dr. Ed Roberts, from the Imperial College London department of medicine, said in a college news release. "We took a different approach, by looking at what enables experts to perform better than novices in tests of physical skill."

In conducting the study, the investigators compared the brain structures of 12 people with black belts in karate who had an average of nearly 14 years of experience in the sport, with 12 people of a similar age who were physically active but didn't have any martial arts expertise.

The researchers tested how forcefully the participants could punch at short range. Infrared markers worn on their arms and bodies measured the speed of their movements.

The study showed the karate black belts punched harder because they were better able to time the movements of their wrists and shoulders.

Brain scans also revealed differences between the two groups in the microscopic structure in certain regions of their brains. The structural differences were seen in the white matter of parts of the brain called the cerebellum and the primary motor cortex. These areas of the brain are known to be involved in controlling movement, the researchers explained.

The brain differences measured by the scans correlated to the participants' wrist and shoulder movements when punching, as well as their level of karate experience. The study authors suggested the structural differences in the brain are associated with the black belts' punching ability.

"The karate black belts were able to repeatedly coordinate their punching action with a level of coordination that novices can't produce," Roberts said. "We think that ability might be related to fine tuning of neural connections in the cerebellum, allowing them to synchronize their arm and trunk movements very accurately."

"We're only just beginning to understand the relationship between brain structure and behavior, but our findings are consistent with earlier research showing that the cerebellum plays a critical role in our ability to produce complex, coordinated movements," he added.

The study was published online Aug. 14 in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about the brain.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, Aug. 15, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Blacks More Prone to Hypertension After Certain Strokes
2. Black stroke survivors have higher blood pressure, increased risk of repeat stroke
3. Black gay men worldwide 15 times more likely to have HIV and racial disparity
4. NIH-funded study finds high HIV infection rates among gay and bisexual black men in the US
5. Black Teens in Public Housing Twice As Likely to Smoke: Study
6. Survey Finds Big Drop in Sexual Activity Among Black Teens
7. Black American Men Have High Rates of HIV Infection: Study
8. Marriage has different meanings for blacks and whites
9. Black Patients More Apt to Have Voice Box Removed When Cancer Strikes
10. Deadly Black Widow Spider Edged Aside in California
11. Despite hardships, black men in urban communities are resilient, MU researcher says
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Black Belts' Punching Power Linked to Their Brain Structure
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of ... part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the ... as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... influential people in business to advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural ... views from around the globe, and reached a social audience of over 3 million. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... be giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success ... focuses on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... MIAMI , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their ... recent notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South ... ninth time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty ... CEO, Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by ... Set to receive his award ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... -- Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today that it ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Biologics License ... of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The ... to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab in the ... "We are disappointed by ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Sept. 19, 2017   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized ... announced that it has been ranked #1 by its users ... Rankings 2017 User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the ... hospitals and medical centers over 200 beds and holds one ... technology user survey history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: