Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lost In Space

Recent research has now confirmed how we process are movements. We have two ways we measure where we are in space without thinking about it. The first way is with something called plate cells. Plate cell are neuron's connected to the hippocampus. If you are in your kitchen and you are navigating to the refrigerator in the dark you are activating the plate cells, Grid cells help place where your body is regardless of context.The cells allow you to triangulate where you are in space.

The ability to tap into practiced movement patterns works a little differently. While we are learning the movement we are using the conscious part of the brain known as the I-function. Once we have learned the movement pattern we can access the practiced
movements and go on auto pilot. The I-function does not have to be burdened. When
we have learned a movement sequence it becomes more difficult to consciously think
about the movements versus just doing it. Imagine thinking about each key stroke while you were playing the piano. Much of coaching performance revolves around not over thinking movements.

We use this knowledge to retrain our body after injury. A good example is how we rehab
after an ankle sprain. A wobble board stimulates the vestibular cortex. People adapt quickly. This helps recalibrate your ankle balance after an injury.

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