Provoking Thought & Possible Action

This is a scattered post as I have thrown it together but will try to share a little of what we had going on in the back ground with how we approached developing better skills and capacities.

Lets shake a few trees and rattle some cages. What if free will comes under question? (The big question of what we really control)

From wiki: Neuroscience of free will refers to recent neuroscientific investigation of questions concerning free will. It is a topic of philosophy and science. One question is whether, and in what sense, rational agents exercise control over their actions or decisions. 

Neuroscience of free will - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What about less dramatic concepts of challenging free will, what about consideration for sport in relation to movement improvement or change?

From Nature Science Journal: The conscious decision to push the button was made about a second before the actual act, but the team discovered that a pattern of brain activity seemed to predict that decision by as many as seven seconds. Long before the subjects were even aware of making a choice, it seems, their brains had already decided.

What can you, or do you control? What do I or have I controlled? After this season we were working on questions like this to attempt to find greater speed in the boat.

We wanted to work out how to improve and habit become the obvious barrier. What we thought we controlled or didn't was interesting. Out of all this a few things became clearer. The energy, effort and focus needed to shift levels of change, skill, to modify or improve in ways that are sustainable under pressure or peak moments were huge. This has always intrigued me and with plenty of looking and some great prompting by a few great people we tried to make changes with new insights from science.

Here we go...

(Note: I think I have been quiet lazy here but more important than laziness I have jumped around as its what was happening during the season when I was trying to understand and reconcile new learning and insights. Another note I am busy working out what I will be doing next. Plenty of shifts happening but one thing remains I want to make a difference and have a positive influence on those around me and those I connect with.)

This is some stuff I have been exposed to lately. I am not presenting it here very clearly. Have a scan or read of the links and see what comes up. We were accessing much of this work to help us row the way we did this season. Its complex and difficult to grasp and certainly the way I am sharing it here is scrambled so go for a ride and see what you find.

We did heaps of work on this and challenged ourselves to understand whats required if action is unconscious and that if our memory of the action we perceive enables us to think we are in control of the action. What if our actions are more habitual that we realise and actions are initiate long before we realise? What if we need to think ahead of ourselves rather that thinking now to make change and to make them stick?

More from wiki:
Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman IIInevertheless talks about the power of even unconscious systems and actions to change the world according to our intentions. He writes "our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do."[11] To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness.

But there is a way or at least we seem to think there is. It just requires energy, effort and some resources in the brain to assist with making changes. How long this all takes is another great question. Whats stopping change we may think we desire?

Dr Petroc Sumner, Cardiff University, said: “When visual stimuli automatically activate motor planning in the brain, this activation can be very quickly suppressed again, presumably so that we are not forever making actions triggered by what we happen to see. This all happens ‘behind the scenes’ without our conscious knowledge. In the patients, however, we found no suppression. Therefore, we’ve discovered that the supplementary motor areas play an important role in suppressing automatic activations. We believe automatic triggers and how they are suppressed are critical to understanding how we overcome habits, and make choices between alternative actions.”

So looking at action, intention, decision making, whats we are conscious of and whats unconscious plus control, illusions, memory and brain, body, mind, emotional links and separation and oneness. There are things that help us move or feel or think the same or differently. Change and learning is taking place always weather we are realising it or not and doing, observing and listening, trying and being involved all plays a part in how we engage and act or move and perform.

This new finding demonstrates that mirror neurons are located in more areas of the human brain than previously thought. Given that different brain areas implement different functions -- in this case, the medial frontal cortex for movement selection and the medial temporal cortex for memory -- the finding also suggests that mirror neurons provide a complex and rich mirroring of the actions of other people.

Because mirror neurons fire both when an individual performs an action and when one watches another individual perform that same action, it's thought this "mirroring" is the neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of other people can be automatically understood.

Hmmmmm ... confused well check out the links below.

Neuroscience of free will - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In time I am keen to intergrate many of these works into showing how we have trained or at least we tried to train this year and why I think some coaches and athletes show great capacities to perform, learn, change or improve.


Anonymous said…
Quite interesting but a wee bit confused big fella!
doctorely said…
Our conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg. You can row better when you are with better rowers and when you watch better rowing.
I see a book here, The Tao of Rowing.
Anonymous said…
great theme!!..please another post about it giving more insight about your thoughts. Thanks for keeping writing after the Games.

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