Sunday, February 15, 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 or thinking about
what your arms, torso and feet are doing playing golf or jumping a 360 off a ski jump. Much of coaching performance revolves around not over thinking movements. For some
unbelievable feats of agility copy the following link:

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. Diabetes can cause nerve damage that alters the feedback loop with propioception.

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