Navigation Links
Jocks beat bookworms on brain test

This press release is available in French.

English Premier League soccer players, NHL hockey players, France's Top 14 club rugby players, and even elite amateur athletes have better developed cognitive functions than the average university student, according to a perception study undertaken by Professor Jocelyn Faubert of the University of Montreal's School of Optometry. The study demonstrates a possible outcome of the increased cortical thickness that has been found in areas of trained athletes' brains. It also offers researchers new avenues for exploring the treatment of people who have issues with attention, such as the elderly. "Study participants were asked to describe a series of simulated objects moving through three dimensions. Although the context had nothing to do with any specific sport, we found that professional athletes were able to process the visual scenes much better than amateur athletes who were in turn better than the students," Faubert explained. The cognitive requirements for correctly interpreting the abstract moving scenes parallel situations such as driving, crossing the street or, case in point, performing sport. "It would appear that athletes are able to hyper-focus their attention to enhance learning, which is key to their abilities."

The researcher worked with 102 professional players from the groups mentioned above, 173 elite amateur athletes who were recruited from the NCAA American university sports program and a European Olympic training centre, and 33 non-athlete university students. The participants undertook the "3D-MOT" task fifteen times to evaluate several skills that scientists believe are critical to visual perceptual and cognitive abilities when viewing complex scenes: distribution of attention between a number of moving targets amongst distracters, large field of vision, maximum speed of objects that one is able to follow, and the ability to perceive depth. The scene is "neutral", meaning that sport specific familiarity such as play knowledge or experience will not influence the score as the movements and interactions are totally random. The 3D-MOT task was in fact developed by Professor Faubert and can be evaluated by using a graphical simulation machine he invented, known as the Neurotracker, and it has been used by teams such as Manchester United and teams in the NFL and NHL.

The tests revealed that the professional athletes were able to learn how to track fast moving objects at a much superior rate than the other groups, although all three groups improved their score over the 15 training sessions. "Clearly, mental processing and learning skills are key to the excellent performance of the professional athletes. However, it is unclear whether this superior learning ability is unique to professional athletes, and moreover whether these are innate skills that led them to be selected by these teams, or whether these skills have been acquired through extensive training," Faubert said. "It will therefore be interesting to see how individuals of all athletic abilities improve their perception score as they train with this system."

Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

Related medicine news :

1. Study Suggests Vaccine May Help Kids With Brain Cancer
2. Epilepsy Leads to More Brain Abnormalities Over Time
3. UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
4. Why is traumatic brain injury increasing among the elderly?
5. Brain Falters Near End of Life, but Games, Puzzles Might Slow Decline
6. Dental X-Rays May Be Linked to Benign Brain Tumors
7. Nonsurgical Method to Measure Brain Pressure Shows Promise
8. Researchers Map Brain Regions Linked to Intelligence
9. Football-related catastrophic brain injuries on the rise
10. Brain Tumor Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial
11. Brain Surgery Might Ease Tough-to-Treat OCD
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The successful filing of ... company. Because it is so important to this key industry segment, Regis Technologies has ... IND Filing” on December 4th at 11am EST. , Federal law does not allow ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Healthjump, Inc. announced that it ... IT consulting, development and support company. The purchase will expand the capability to ... to extend the services currently provided by Healthjump. , Through this ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Puerto Rico (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... active part of the San Juan Beauty Show held on November 8th and 9th ... was attended by media personalities, hair artists, renowned beauticians and top of the line ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... healthcare professionals worldwide today released the results of a survey of educational needs ... and Africa found a growing global demand for high quality online and face-to-face ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MN (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... of a new product dealer. Joining more than 30 HealthPostures’ dealers located throughout ... foot space and increase the number of corporate, industrial, manufacturing and government workers ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Fla. , Nov. 30, 2015   The ... (the Institute) announced today that it has finalized a ... start-up company with technology developed at Florida State University. ... research, and bridges early funding gaps for companies spinning ... research institutions. --> ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... India , November 30, 2015 ... --> adds ... trends for 2010 - 2015 with ... for a range of deal types, ... and strategic alliances. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: