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-   -   Cat scan done while learning a new knot/knitting, shows why we fumble. (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=444808)

kiteboard 11-04-2012 09:54 AM

Cat scan done while learning a new knot/knitting, shows why we fumble.
 
There was an experiment done by researchers, and they scanned the brains of women knitting in a brain scanner. They were able to look at a tv screen while doing so. The screen first showed/told them to use a knot that they already knew how to do. The scan showed very little activity, only a small red dot in the unconscious zone. Then they were shown an unknown knot, and the scan lit up on both sides, purple, blue, until they learned the new knot, and then back to a small red dot again.

They fumbled and staggered, lead arm, until it was memorized, and then the scan quieted down.

boramiNYC 11-04-2012 10:24 AM

that makes sense and no surprise there. but performing a skill under pressure involves even more than that. let a bunch of ladies knit and only a few of them wins and that will feed their families most will fumble even with the knots they know well under pressure. knowing maybe black and white but doing it has many gradations of fidelity.

Ash_Smith 11-04-2012 10:29 AM

If you want to know why performance under pressure is so difficult you should read "The Chimp Paradox" by Dr Steve Peters

boramiNYC 11-04-2012 12:29 PM

sounds interesting, will check out.

UCSF2012 11-04-2012 03:41 PM

Need more information. What regions of the brain lit up? Frontal cortex vs motor cortex vs basal ganglia vs etc, etc, etc. The physical activity and coordination features of tennis changes what parts of the brain is active, compared to knitting.

kiteboard 11-04-2012 07:05 PM

Both sides lit, frontal and rear cortexes in a full blanket of color.

spacediver 11-04-2012 09:43 PM

sure this was a cat scan?? more likely fMRI. Got a reference you can share kiteboard?

sansaephanh 11-04-2012 09:51 PM

I'm pretty dumb compared to women in general, was this same test happen to be done for men as well? =P

kiteboard 11-04-2012 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spacediver (Post 6995315)
sure this was a cat scan?? more likely fMRI. Got a reference you can share kiteboard?

Not sure, but the scan on the tv showed colors, and it was inside a round, large scanner, with the subject lying down, knitting but watching the tv screen outside the scanner. The video on the scanner showed colors, pulsating, real time with the knitting.

kiteboard 11-04-2012 10:19 PM

Showed how much the brain had to work while learning something new, and how little it worked when it knew it already. Amazing difference in the amount of activity and pulsation, both lobes, and that feels like a match/play when you are trying something new, or something which you don't have a lot of experience in, such as tournament play.

ramos77 11-05-2012 04:12 AM

Test is flawed..

What were these women doing out of the kitchen? :shock:

Bobby Jr 11-05-2012 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiteboard (Post 6994297)
....only a small red dot in the unconscious zone. Then they were shown an unknown knot, and the scan lit up on both sides, purple, blue, ...

I feel like you missed out an introduction of what this is all about in your post.

Care to explain the significance of the colours and what they mean? Do red, blue, purple have obvious meaning in terms of activity or something? What about green or white?

kiteboard 11-05-2012 07:02 AM

Don't know for sure, but I believe the colors related to areas, and amount of activity. Of course the test is flawed. They are inside a tunnel, lying down, with a two ton machine surrounding their brains. But it's a definite clue what goes on when you are learning on the court, and playing matches against a new opponent, whose shots you are not used to, etc. Who hasn't experienced lead arm in new situations on court? It's a disconnect with your body and its energy flows.

pvaudio 11-05-2012 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby Jr (Post 6995539)
I feel like you missed out an introduction of what this is all about in your post.

Care to explain the significance of the colours and what they mean? Do red, blue, purple have obvious meaning in terms of activity or something? What about green or white?

As said, the test was likely an fMRI as a CAT scan isn't really applicable here. The colors show changes in blood flow to a particular area which is correlated to neuronal activity. In short, whenever an area becomes active, it requires glucose. Oxygenated blood carries glucose to the area a few seconds after the deoxygenated blood has gone. Oxygenated and deoxygenated blood respond very differently to magnetic fields, so it is this change that the machine is picking up. The colors themselves aren't particularly relevant as long as you specify the levels yourself. The greater the change in oxygenated blood flow to an area, the more neurons are firing in that area, in short.

kiteboard 11-05-2012 01:53 PM

The whole issue for me, was the fumbling nature of the energy/in the hands and in the mind, while learning the new knots, and that relation to the increased brain activity, and how it also probably relates to any new learning experience, and our own felt failures on the court. All of us can relate to it. We all have the same feelings of disconnection and frustration when learning and losing.

Some of us experience unconscious play, in the so called zone. The small red dot, versus the whole purple field lit up. So how do we access thoughtless, natural zone play? Lots of reps so the shots and strategies are second nature. Lots of match play with the same guy so we can get used to his style. Lots of reps on our own strengths, returns, serves, etc. Memorization isn't everything, or we would be able to zone out any day. So what makes the energy we feel zoned out special? Why is our level higher than normal? No one really can explain it, why the energy is faster (so our experienced energy is slower), why the ball gets as big as a grape fruit, like it's on a T. Desire is related to it. Emotions are also. Desire is both an emotion, and an adrenalized state when zoned. If I could bottle that energy I'd be a billionaire already. It's an unconscious connection to the zone energy field we normally don't access. We are all in pursuit of the red dot.

I'd like to see the scan when I'm in the zone. I'll bet it's on the horizon, that we will be able to zone out on command, not just due to the talent some have in obtaining that felt energy, but as an exercise we are all able to polish just like normal practice.

pvaudio 11-05-2012 02:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kiteboard (Post 6996932)
The whole issue for me, was the fumbling nature of the energy/in the hands and in the mind, while learning the new knots, and that relation to the increased brain activity, and how it also probably relates to any new learning experience, and our own felt failures on the court. All of us can relate to it. We all have the same feelings of disconnection and frustration when learning and losing.

Some of us experience unconscious play, in the so called zone. The small red dot, versus the whole purple field lit up. So how do we access thoughtless, natural zone play? Lots of reps so the shots and strategies are second nature. Lots of match play with the same guy so we can get used to his style. Lots of reps on our own strengths, returns, serves, etc. Memorization isn't everything, or we would be able to zone out any day. So what makes the energy we feel zoned out special? Why is our level higher than normal? No one really can explain it, why the energy is faster (so our experienced energy is slower), why the ball gets as big as a grape fruit, like it's on a T. Desire is related to it. Emotions are also. Desire is both an emotion, and an adrenalized state when zoned. If I could bottle that energy I'd be a billionaire already. It's an unconscious connection to the zone energy field we normally don't access. We are all in pursuit of the red dot.

I'd like to see the scan when I'm in the zone. I'll bet it's on the horizon, that we will be able to zone out on command, not just due to the talent some have in obtaining that felt energy, but as an exercise we are all able to polish just like normal practice.

As an undergrad, I minored in psychology, and I recall writing some paper on what's called procedural memory. Basically there are three stages to learning a new motion. The first stage, the cognitive stage, is where you observe and learn the material at hand. The second stage, the associative stage, is where you practice what you've observed. The final stage, autonomy, is where you can perform the task without conscious decision making or attention. The middle stage is crucial, as it's there that you learn what is fundamental and is not fundamental to whatever it is you're doing. Being able to discriminate between said things is important because it lets you have greater attention on only the important bits. Once you're in the autonomous stage, your ability to perform a task depends on how well you learned to discriminate between important and unimportant stimuli in the associative stage.

Here is a good example before I get into how it relates to sports. As a 15 year old, you start learning how to drive a car. You've been through the first stage which is watching someone drive for many years. However, when you first get behind the wheel, EVERYTHING requires attention. How hard to grip the wheel, where to hold it, how to turn it, how hard to press the pedals to make the car do something (hence why people stall manual transmission cars when learning, it's not because they're not able to, it's because the smoothness of the transition between the pedals isn't learned yet). Then there's what to pay attention to with your eyes: the speedo, the tach, the rear-view mirror, the side mirrors, the dividing line, the type of road surface, the distance between you and cars ahead, behind and to the sides. Objects incredibly far in the distance, etc.

After you've been driving for a few years, you don't think about anything but the fundamentals: following distance, glance at the speedo, glance at the mirrors, and that's about it. This is, of course, assuming you went through the second stage and learned properly. A bad driver, for instance, is hunched up on the wheel, eyes bulging going extra slowly, not noticing that they're going 30 in a 50 because all they think is important is how close they are to the edge of the road. Teenagers likewise crash often because they neglect other things: glancing at the speedo and mirrors, learning proper following distance, etc. This is just one example of this psych theory, but it applies to sports.

In tennis, you watch a fuzzy yellow balls video and see how Federer hits his forehand. You watch the video over and over and over. Cognitive stage. You then go onto the court, but you have to focus on every single aspect of his technique when not all aspects are important because they happen naturally: you force the follow through, you grip the racquet too tightly, etc. Only once you practice it over and over and over again do you get to the autonomous stage, and depending on how you practiced and what you decided was important to pay attention to, that determines how well, when you see an incoming forehand, you are able to prepare your feet, torso and arms and stroke the ball.

You have these algorithms stored in head for various actions and you pull them out when you need to. How well you execute them depends on the interaction between what you learned and the external stimuli: how much spin is on the incoming ball, is it low or high, fast or slow, far from you or not. Regardless of any of the above, your forehand will always be your forehand. It's just if something can cause your algorithm to break down that would lead to errors.

Interestingly, according to this theory, choking is when stress causes your automatic "map" to break down into individual steps that you must focus on to make it work. Since the action is no longer one fluid execution, you become tight and the action breaks down further. Once that happens, you can start neglecting important parts of the procedure which leads to errors. Continual errors lead to increased anxiety and stress, which lead to more errors, and in tennis terms, you blew 3 match points and a two break lead. Being able to break that cycle is often the best way to get back into "auto" mode, hence you smash a racquet, or in the case of Nalbandian, a line judge's shin.

Now, I do not believe that psychology is a science. I think it's a pseudo science in that it comes up with theories which explain repeatable phenomena, but there is no way to actually test and repeat the results. Whether the procedural memory theory explains choking and the zone (the opposite of choking according to this school of thought, where you are able to focus on even fewer stimuli or neglect more external ones), I have no idea nor will anyone ever be able to prove it. Nonetheless, I do think it's quite interesting since as I said, you can apply the theory to any repetitive motor situation: driving, sports, playing an instrument, typing, sleight of hand, chess moves, martial arts forms etc.

Just thought I'd share a spot of sports related psychology since it seemed relevant. :)

kiteboard 11-05-2012 03:14 PM

Sports psychologists believe in visualization of the result you wish to occur. Suggestion of a future reality. Ie, see yourself shaking hands, smiling accepting the winning trophy. Ie, see yourself hitting the line on your serve. Quarterbacks are taught to pat the ball to hand, before throwing, and to visualize that practice throw just before. They are taught to stagger time so it slows down. Can we really slow down time, or is that just a function of speeding ourselves up so it just seems that way?

When time seemed to slow down, it seemed that it was slower, not that I was faster. It seemed that my opponent was slower. I've also experienced time as a very fast thing, when my coil is very fast. My uncoil is very fast. They are not unrelated. You can certainly coil fast and uncoil slowly, and coil slowly and uncoil fast. We have all experienced being rushed. And rushing ourselves in time on any day/shot. The best coil fast and wait, and uncoil fast. They only have one speed to learn, one speed to defend, one speed to worry about: fast. Coil fast and wait fast. Uncoil fast. Recover fast. Move to ball fast. Etc. fast. Run around your back hand fast. Hit only forehands fast. Learn one thing and do it well fast. Speed is coachable to a degree. Is time coachable? Is the zone? How much of the zone occurs due to self belief? Mentor suggestions? And our experience of time/energy within our own bodies. For most, it's just an accident, and for some, it's a daily occurrence.

Those who focus on speeding up their felt energy inside their own bodies have more of a chance of replicating dominant play.

boramiNYC 11-05-2012 03:37 PM

you might wanna use a word with more concrete meaning than energy in your explanation. I assume many including me isn't quite clear how to understand that meaning which seems central to your perspective.

pvaudio 11-05-2012 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 6997142)
you might wanna use a word with more concrete meaning than energy in your explanation. I assume many including me isn't quite clear how to understand that meaning which seems central to your perspective.

I don't really understand what he's talking about now, I was just posting some theory on how strokes are learned and can break down haha.

kiteboard 11-05-2012 07:43 PM

Energy felt inside the body isn't just force applied to shots, through upper/lower body uncoils, it's tinged with emotion/s, fumbling/learning shots, psych/fear/confidence cocktails, and technical skill/lack of. Intention and fear guides/controls all force in athletic action. There is the over riding intention to not lose, to hit/play well, but it's often blocked by many interior and exterior issues. Some energy is exterior. From opponent/ psyches and shots, from the onlookers, from the weather, sun, etc.

At any time fear can poison our clean adrenalized energy, and turn adrenaline into a negative, blocking force which blocks energy, instead of aiding it. So what makes adrenaline positive and negative, and what makes energy positive and negative? We can still miss shots no matter what type of internal energy we are using. Fearful energy causes more errors, and positive energy ignores them. You just know you are going to play/move/hit well no matter the mistakes, versus fearing. Some call it self belief, but it's really creating a future reality by visualizing it, knowing it will occur regardless of blockages.


Most energy we feel is interior, inside us, and it determines mostly whether we learn, play well, adjust, or not. It's more than just neurons firing, and so is will. So is desire. So is intention. These exist inside and outside of ourselves simultaneously.


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