The Best Reason to Watch More Football
New research from the University of Chicago gives guys the perfect excuse to watch more football this season.
Being an athlete or simply a fan improves language skills when it comes to discussing your game, according to the study. Researchers believe the enhancement happens because parts of the brain usually involved in playing sports are instead used to understand sports language.
Functional magnetic imaging of the brains of hockey players, fans, and people who’d never seen or played the game showed that a region of the brain usually associated with planning and controlling actions is activated when players and fans listen to sentences about their sport. The boost in activity helps them understand information about the game, even though they have no intention to act at the time.
The study also shows that the brain may be more flexible than originally thought. “We show that non-language related activities, such as playing or watching a sport, enhance one’s ability to understand language about their sport precisely because brain areas normally used to act become highly involved in language understanding,” said Sian Beilock, associate professor in psychology at the University of Chicago and lead author of the paper, Sports Experience Enhances the Neural Processing of Action Language.
“Experience playing and watching sports has enduring effects on language understanding by changing the neural networks that support comprehension to incorporate areas active in performing sports skills,” Beilock said.
This suggests a powerful relationship between seeing and doing. Engaging in an activity taps into brain networks not normally associated with language, which improves the understanding of language related to that activity, according to the researcher.
The findings may soon be applied to education. For example, the best way to teach kids about momentum and physics may not be assigning lengthy reading assignments, but getting them up from their desks and moving. “The experience of acting something out may help them understand the concept much better,” Beilock said.
If you’re a dad, musclemorphosis.com the next time you musclemorphosis.com a valuable lesson. And if you don’t have kids, continue enhancing your language skills by meeting your friends for a musclemorphosis.com or hosting a musclemorphosis.com this Sunday.