Tag Archives: Creativity

June 8, 2011

Jazz, basketball, and are great athletes geniuses?

via Dan Peterson

Jonah Lehrer at The Frontal Cortex has an interesting piece on the similarities in the types of reactive intelligence exhibited by athletes and jazz musicians. In it, he asks why, culturally, we don’t think of great athletes or improvisiational musicians as geniuses on the same level as mathematicians or symphony composers. Here’s Lehrer on the neuroscience of basketball players and jazz musicians: The rebounding experiment went like this: 10 basketball players, 10 coaches and 10 sportswriters, plus a group of complete basketball novices, watched video clips of a player attempting a free throw. (You can watch the videos here.) Not surprisingly, the professional athletes were far better at predicting whether or …

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April 7, 2011

Introduction: The Athletic Brain

via Dan Peterson

Great athletes have a little something special that most of us don’t. Mostly, people tend to think about the physical gifts that set athletes apart–they are bigger, faster, more powerful, and exhibit grace and body control that is awe-insipring. While it isn’t surprising that the focus tends to be on what’s easily seen, this leaves out a great deal, because a lot of what makes great athletes special actually goes on inside their heads. Whatever the sport, the most exhilerating moments–the ones that drop jaws and bring joy–involve creativity and intelligence that goes far beyond the merely physical. Rajon Rondo threading a ball through a crowded paint to a man who …

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