Friday, 14 September 2012

Mix & Match

Hey there, another guest post by Shake.

Last Weekend: Had the opportunity to watch Darnell Johnson referee a men's PACWEST match.  It was super inspiring watching the kind of field presence he has on the field.  There was no question of who's field it was.

Brainy Stuff:
CBC Radio, Quirks and Quarks host Bob McDonald interviews Dr. Mazyar Fallah, an assistant professor in the school of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, and delineates research findings regarding the brain and how it processes the colour red. It's rather interesting.  If you'd like to listen to the actual interview, here is the link:
            Fallah elucidates that although motion and locomotion are separate streams from colour, form, and shape – in the brain, they are able to both influence and converse with each other.  Fallah’s research finds that the brain processes speed differently when stimulated by different colours.  For example, while the colour blue is found to be associated as being slow in the brain, the colour red is the opposite.  Red is perceived as moving at a speed greater than any other colour.  This is substantiated through Fallah’s research, which finds that through monitoring the visual processing of different colours – the target colour red provides stimulus that makes the eyes move more quickly.  These research findings lead McDonald to inquire wither there is any impact on sports.  Fallah suggests that in some sports, like figure-skating, where speed plays a vital role – athletes who wear the colour red may be able to make the judges think they are performing at a speed greater than they actually are.  However, while figure skaters that wear red may be able to benefit, Fallah suggests that not all athletes will experience beneficiaries by dressing in red.  For example, hockey teams that dress in red will be stimulating the eyes of the referees more than non-red opponents; therefore more focus on red jerseys may translate to disadvantageous higher foul recognition rates.  To restate, this would be merely because the eyes would be focused on the players wearing red jerseys for a greater percent of the time, which could increase the chances of that player being caught doing something unlawful.   

It is my understanding that questions will likely be raised as to the ethicality and fairness involved with the findings of such a study.  More research and experimental studies will have to be conducted in order to determine how greatly colour can impact the outcome of sporting events.  Perhaps if an unfair advantage is found, the colour red will be banned from certain activities.  What would this mean for countries like Canada – whose national colours include red?  Even if the colour red is found to have a greater impact on certain sports, would it simply be deemed as a part of sport – adversity through which teams must learn to overcome?  To conclude, the findings of Fallah’s study is igniting many questions through which only further research and experimentation can provide answers. 

Tchernikov, I., Fallah, M.  A colour hierarchy for automatic target selection.  PLoS ONE, 5(2): e9338.doi;10.1371/journal.pone.0009338
Some Thoughts By Strimaitis On Pure Motivation:  Author (and millionaire), Adam Strimaitis suggests that generally everyone wants the same things in life.  "Everyone wants to make enough money to buy whatever they want, enough time to do whatever they want and whenever they want to".  He suggests that the determining factor to being able to fulfill those wishes, is motivation.  He doesn't mean having just any motivation either.  He means attaining pure motivation.  The story he used to depict what he believes, is one which he read in some Chicken Soup for the Soul book.  Its synopsis: A professional athlete wins a tournament in which she has beaten over 110 other athletes.  Her reward is a $100,000 check.  After the event, as she walks to her car she is approached by a visibly distraught man.  The man emotionally tells her about his son who is three years old, and has been diagnosed with cancer.  He tells her of the misfortunes that have come his way.  He lost his job, consequently also losing his benefits.  The medical treatments his son needs is more than he can afford.  He is sacrificing his pride in hopes to give his son a fighting chance at having a life.  She did not need to hear any more.  She stopped the man, and without hesitation she pulled out a pen and endorsed the back of her large check to the man.  "I hope this helps." Tears streamed down the man's face, and he gave his thanks.  The winning athlete went home, feeling great.  She won the tournament, and bettered the life of a child.  Later that evening while enjoying a family thrown celebration party, her cousin stood visibly upset, and pointing at the newspaper.  "There's a warning about some man who has been scamming people, and pretending to have a child dying of cancer!"  Everyone awaited the response of the champion.  A look of relief crossed her face, "There is no dying child, well, that's the best news I've heard all day."  The pure motivation for the athlete was to win the tournament, just as it was to help the child to live.  The money was merely a by-product of her objectives; clearly inconsequential.  In the end, the results were that her motivations were fulfilled, and therefore, nothing else mattered.  


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