What's The Buzz

What's The Buzz

Enhanced brain activity among experts

Expert sportsmen are quicker to observe and react to their opponents’ moves than novice players, exhibiting enhanced activation of the cortical regions of the brain, finds a new study by scientists at Brunel University and at the University of Hong Kong.

The results of the study show that more experienced sports players are better able to detect early anticipatory clues from opposing players’ body movements, giving them a split second advantage in preparing an appropriate response.

The study, headed by Dr Michael Wright, was carried out by observing the reaction time and brain activity of badminton players of varying degrees of ability, from recreational players to international competitors. Participants were shown video clips of an opposing badminton player striking a shuttlecock and asked to predict where the shot would land.

In all participants, activation was observed in areas of the brain previously associated with the observation, understanding and preparation of human action; expert players showed enhanced brain activity in these regions and responded more quickly to the movements of their opponents.

3 out of 4 teen girls happy with their bodies

A US survey has revealed that 3 out of 4 teenaged girls are happy with their bodies and are rejecting thin fashion models as being unrealistic. According to a national survey by Girl Scouts of America on the eve of New York City’s legendary Fashion Week, the survey of 1,002 girls ages 13 to 17 comes amid continuing controversy over super thin models, so-called ‘size zeros’.

Critics say the models are dangerously underweight and have charged that the fashion industry’s preference for waif-like women has led to models engaging in obsessive dieting and extreme weight loss, as well as set a poor example for teenage girls.

The survey revealed that 82 per cent said that their peers and friends influenced how they felt about their bodies, 65 per cent said it was their parents, and 62 per cent reported another family member.

Thin fashion models ranked last by a wide margin, with 54 per cent. Perhaps most importantly, most teen girls dislike and reject the thin body image often seen in the fashion industry.

Severe sleep apnea reduces nightmare recall frequency

Patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report a significantly lower frequency of nightmares than patients with mild or no sleep apnea, indicating that OSA suppresses the cognitive experience of nightmare recall, say researchers.

Results show that the percentage of participants with frequent nightmare recall decreased linearly as sleep apnea severity increased. Frequent nightmare recall, occurring at least weekly, was reported by 71.4 per cent of people who did not have OSA and 43.2 per cent of patients with mild OSA, which was defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of five to less than 15 breathing pauses per hour of sleep.

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