Scientific research that gives weight and meaning to the importance of good group juju!
Essential for athletes on a (sports) team is the ability to understand the intentions and goals of each other and of their opponents. To do this they must be able to communicate accurately, have positive social connections, and convey a strong sense of group cohesion among the team. All of this is needed for a successful performance.
This article is a brief overview of the biological psychology process involved in creating a positive mindset among sport team members. It begins with an introduction into the neuroscience behind emotional bonds and how they are relevant. It then expands into a discussion about how positive emotions encourage a better performance overall. These findings are specific to a sports team of players but are also useful among any team group.
In their research Pepping & Timmermans (2012) examine the role Oxytocin plays in the biopsychological process of emotions and moods. Oxytocin is a hypothalamic hormone stored in the posterior pituitary at the base of the brain. This hormone is vital in women during childbirth and lactation, in men and women and how they form pair-bonds in intimate relationships, in social memory, social recognition, and social attachment behavior.
Since Oxytocin is directly related to the biopsychological process of developing emotions between people, Pepping & Timmermans (2012) assert that this extends to sports team members. Integral to a sports team is building trust, cohesion, cooperation, and social motivation among the players. Sports teams share positive experiences and emotions, creating a group cohesion and collaborative effort with a common goal. Research findings illuminate a positive correlation between players who engage in encouraging and supportive behaviors with greater performance and achievements. Their research indicates that “positive social interactions” and “prosocial celebratory behaviors” are linked to the bonding experience of Oxytocin.
Expressions of social emotions communicate cooperation and strategies among sports team members. Research also shows that positive emotions “have profound influences on a number of processes, including attentional control, cognition, and interpersonal functioning “. The beneficial subcomponents of sharing positive emotions are linked to performance, perception, attention, memory, decision-making and judgment. “The expression of an emotional state in one person leads to the experience of similar emotions in a person observing the expression…emotions influence other's people's emotions, feelings, and behaviors, leading to the convergence of emotions and moods”, (Pepping & Timmermans, 2012, p. 2). These findings give support to the importance of all team members and how well they interact.
The bonding effects of Oxytocin enhance the ability for empathy. In very general terms empathy is the capacity to see things from another person’s perspective and to recognize the internal (emotional) states of another. What this research shows is that an increase in Oxytocin produces an increase in the capacity for empathy. Empathy is also related to a player’s ability to perceive the opponent's intentions.
“Oxytocin has effects on cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, mind reading, positive and negative social emotions…cause convergence of positive emotions and moods between people and make it possible that athletes can respond to the emotional behavior from their fellow players and opponents”, (p. 16).
The researcher’s on this team agree that more research is needed on this topic. They believe that new discoveries will have a “significant importance for sport psychological and sports science support, talent identification, coaching, training, team selection, and team development”, (p. 16).
Pepping, G. & Timmermans, E. (2012). Oxytocin and the Biopsychology of Performance in Team Sports. Scientific World Journal. Volume 2012; 2012: 567363. Doi: 10.1100/2012/567363. PMCID: PMC3444846.
Researcher Dr. Eric Kandel, whose contributions at Columbia University include the molecular basis of memory and a team, discovered therapeutic interventions like exercise help reduce age-related memory loss. “We were astonished that not only did this improve the mice’s performance on the memory tests, but their performance was comparable to that of young mice,” said Dr. Pavlopoulos.“The fact that we were able to reverse age-related memory loss in mice is very encouraging,” said Dr. Kandel.
They examined proteins in human cells in the hippocampus region that contribute to memory functions. These proteins, RbAp48 and the PKA-CREB1-CBP, are valid targets for therapeutic intervention.
Agents that enhance this pathway have already been shown to improve age-related hippocampus dysfunction in rodents. “But the broader point is that to develop effective interventions, you first have to find the right target. Now we have a good target... we have a way to screen therapies that might be effective, be they pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, or physical and cognitive exercises.”
#OrganizationalCognitiveNeuroscience expands the practice of #OrganizationalPsychology, #ConsultingPsychology,
Organizational cognitive neuroscience (OCN) is a new term used to describe the intersection, integration and application of nueroscientific discoveries with organizational and consulting psychology.
OCN is being defined in business leadership and marketing research. "…taking a wider nueroscientific approach to researching marketing or business-relevant problems and decisions will allow a greater understanding of why in general we behave or react the way we do, and a correspondingly greater ability to predict this”, (Lee, N., Butler, M., & Senior, C., 2010, p. 130).
Discoveries in neuroscience have produced scientific technological advances using fMRI brain imaging devices. This brain imaging technology has allowed scientists to map activity within regions of the brain to examine human behaviors and responses. These discoveries are expanding organizational psychology towards more neurobiological based interventions and assessments.
We now have a greater understanding and insight into the process of emotional arousal and response patterns for individuals. Brain science imaging techniques are able to teach us and show us the neurological process of decision-making. “By combining this approach with functional brain scanning it is possible to understand which areas of the brain generated that specific emotional response—and whether distinct brain regions are involved in other types of decision making”, (Lee, N., Butler, M., & Senior, C., 2010, p. 130).
Organizational cognitive neuroscience (OCN), while still in its infancy, is quickly forging a new way of thinking about human behavior and decision making from a neurobiological brain systems approach.
Lee, N., Butler, M., & Senior, C. (2010). The brain in business: neuromarketing and organizational cognitive neuroscience. Journal of Marketing. Volume 49; pp. 129–131. doi: 10.1007/s12642-010-0033-8.http://cms.springerprofessional.de/journals/JOU=12642/VOL=2010.49/ISU=3-4/ART=33/BodyRef/PDF/12642_2010_Article_33.pdf
#CardiovascularExercise enhances brain functioning in aging adults, #EnhancedBrainFunction, #AgingAdults
By: Lisa Lukianoff, Psy.D.
Have you ever noticed how mentally alert you feel after exercising? Or experienced a lessening degree of mental fatigue afterwards? Scientific research findings suggest an increase in executive functioning as a result of exercise. Which turns out to be especially significant for older adults.
As a person ages, so dose their brain. Aging adult brains have typically shown some reduced cognitive functioning and changes in various regions. However, with an increase in healthy-aging adults, whose life vitality and longevity have increased substantially, researchers are focusing on what contributes to this new paradigm in aging. "Both cognitive and physical exercise have been discussed as promising interventions for healthy cognitive aging", ((Holzschneider K, Wolbers T, Röder B, & Hötting K., 2013, p. 1).
Researchers identified strategies and characteristics for enhanced brain functioning throughout the lifespan. Resent neuroscience findings have showed that enhanced brain functioning, neuroplasticity and neurogenesis are attainable throughout life stages for aging individuals. Integral to achieving healthy aging are behaviors and activities that reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease; a Mediterranean diet plan and regular physical exercise.
Rhey studied the neurological changes and effects of cycling (cardiovascular exercise) on aging adults. These findings were significant in that they confirmed a “healthy” lifestyle can modulate cognitive brain functioning as one age and it improves frontal lobe and memory functioning. “On the neuronal level, the spatial training group, as compared to the perceptual training group, showed significant activation changes from pre- to posttest in the superior and middle temporal gyri and the medial temporal lobe of the right hemisphere”, (Holzschneider K, Wolbers T, Röder B, & Hötting K., 2013, p. 9).
Overall these research findings show a positive correlation between physical (cardiovascular) exercise with improved executive (brain) functioning. “These improvements were accompanied by functional changes in associated frontal brain regions, most likely indicating more efficient neuronal processing”, (Holzschneider K, Wolbers T, Röder B, & Hötting K., 2013, p. 2).
Additionally these researchers discovered that a healthy lifestyle of regular cardiovascular exercise overall reduces the decline of grey and white matter in brain and improves memory. “Hötting et al. found a positive correlation between the increase in cardiovascular fitness and verbal memory after a six-month exercise training, suggesting a direct relation between physical exercising success and cognitive gains”, (Holzschneider K, Wolbers T, Röder B, & Hötting K., 2013).
Another research cited in this study "proposed the idea that a combination of physical activity and cognitive challenge might be most effective in inducing beneficial and permanent effects on the brain’s structure and function".
lzschneider K, Wolbers T, Röder B, & Hötting K. (2013). Cardiovascular fitness modulates brain activation associated with spatial learning. BMC Neuroscience. Volume 14(73). Doi:10.1186/1471-2202-14-73.
This blog is intended to explore ideas, educate, entertain and expand our thinking. Some posts speak to current trends in the brain sciences, neural benefits of exercise & sports, emotional intelligence and personal growth.