In these recent years, there have been many headlines about the potentially negative impacts that contact sports activities can have on athletes’ brains. However, a brand new Northwestern University study shows that, within the absence of injury, athletes throughout quite a lot of sports—together with football, soccer, and hockey—have more healthy brains than non-athletes.
Athletes have an enhanced potential to tamp down background electrical noise of their brain to better process exterior sounds, corresponding to a teammate yelling a play or a coach calling to them from the sidelines, in response to the research of almost 1,000 participants, including roughly 500 Northwestern Division I athletes.
The findings might inspire athletic interventions for populations that battle with auditory processing. Specifically, playing sports activities could offset the excessively noisy brains usually present in children from low-income areas, Kraus stated.
That is the newest examine from the neural processing of sound in sports concussions and contact sports activities partnership, a five-year, Nationwide Institutes of Health-funded analysis collaboration between Brainvolts and Northwestern University Athletics, which launched last year. The examine examined the brain health of 495 female and male Northwestern student-athletes and 493 age- and sex-matched control subjects.
Kraus and her collaborators delivered speech syllables to review members by way of earbuds and recorded the brain’s exercise with scalp electrodes. The group analyzed the ratio of background noise to the response to the speech sounds by how large the response to sound was relative to the background noise. Athletes had larger responses to sound than non-athletes, the examine confirmed. Like athletes, musicians, and those that can speak multiple languages even have an enhanced skill to listen to incoming sound signals, Kraus stated.