|Monkeys have fleas|
Here's a link to a NYT article about a study done on monkeys in Italy.
In the study, the researchers looked at the brain activity of monkeys when the monkeys performed simple actions, such as reaching for a banana. When the monkeys performed the action, a certain set of neurons in their pre-frontal cortex (which controls motor activity) would light up. In an unexpected twist, the researchers found that the same set of neurons also lit up when the monkeys watched someone else, even a human, perform the same action.
They named these neurons "Mirror Neurons", and have spent many more years researching them in both monkeys and humans. The first thing that came to my mind, though, was the image of a climber miming the beta for a route.
Simply watching someone else act out the crux moves of some difficult route actually activates the parts of the brain that you will use in preform the moves yourself! Wow, maybe I don't even need to climb anymore, I can just sit at the base, watch climbers with real talent, and vicariously send. I might even get vicariously pumped! This also explains why I reach for my chalk bag while sitting on the couch watch climbing movies...
|I can almost feel the holds...|
Climber: Brad Gobright Photo: Eric Draper