The Performance Cortex
How Neuroscience Is Redefining Athletic GeniusBook - 2018
"Athletic genius. All the sports journalists in the world can't explain it. Why was Michael Jordan so good? Was it just his joints and muscles? Did he just eat better breakfasts? Zach Schonbrun delivers a groundbreaking new perspective on the science of elite sporting performance. In the course of his work as a sports and business reporter at The New York Times, Zach Schonbrun came upon the research of two young entrepreneurial neuroscientists working on the neural profiles of athletes performing what is famously considered the hardest task in sport: hitting a baseball. They had developed their own brain measuring aparatus, which provided data suggesting a revolution in how we think about athletic ability. How well your brain controls your body--your motor control--is what matters most. Following this story led to the work of a band of researchers around the world, the "motor hunters," and the most important book on sports since Moneyball. Those first two researchers that Schonbrun met are now under contract to major league baseball teams.Why couldn't Michael Jordan, master athlete that he was, hit a baseball? Why can't modern robotics come close to replicating the dexterity of a five-year-old? Why do good quarterbacks always seem to know where their receivers are? Why are tennis stars math geniuses? And why do all animals have brains in the first place?In this wide-ranging and deeply researched book, Schonbrun investigates the keys to what actually drives human movement and its spectacular potential. New explorations in the brain help explain the extraordinary skills that set apart talented performers like Stephen Curry, Peyton Manning, Roger Federer, Bryce Harper, Jordan Spieth, racing superstar Lewis Hamilton, ballet prodigy Misty Copeland, and international soccer star Neymar; as well as musical virtuosos like world-class string players, keyboardists, and drummers; and even Paralympic gold medalist Rudy Garcia-Tolson.The understanding of the human body in motion--running, swinging, strumming, driving--remains one of the most fascinating scientific pursuits. Sports franchises are now beginning to recognize that it is the brain, not just the mechanics of the body, that powers most of the athletic gifts we strain to see in our cavernous arenas. Grasping those golden gifts, going from good to great, requires more than understanding the ten-thousand-hour rule. It requires a new way of thinking about expert performers. It's not about the million-dollar arm anymore. It's about the million-dollar brain."--From publisher.
Publisher: New York : Dutton, 2018
Branch Call Number: 612.044 S371p
Characteristics: viii, 341 p. : ill.; 24 cm
Alternative Title: How neuroscience is redefining athletic genius