Tuesday, May 15, 2018

What do elite chess players have in common with LeBron James?

Eyebrows and speculation rose after James gave a scarily precise account of what had happened in the fourth quarter of a game between his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics.

The answer was so good that the jaded sports hacks who witnessed it responded with a round of applause.

Twitter observers marvelled at the b-ball behemoth's play-by-play description, calling him "a brilliant basketball mind".
But does James really have a genius-level memory, or is something else in play here?

Joe Stone is a senior lecturer in skill acquisition and performance analysis at Sheffield Hallam University's academy of sport and physical activity. He told the BBC James's incredible recall is actually "quite normal" for elite sports players - and amounts to fine-tuning of the brain.

"The original research was with master chess players in the 70s, looking at how they can recall or recognise patterns of play," he says." And then sports expertise researchers caught on to that and moved it into the sporting domain to see if sportspeople can do that. So that was first done in the 1980s in basketball.
H/t Tyler Cowen.

No comments:

Post a Comment