Why it Works

R. Douglas Fields Ph.D. Neuroscientist

“Neuroscientists have discovered a set of unfamiliar cellular mechanisms for making fresh memories.” Read about some of Dr. Fields’ research that supports why Think Golf Academy’s tempo training audios work wonders for every kind of golfer.

How does this translate to golf?

The average time it takes to swing a golf club is 0.85 seconds. This means in a 3-5 hour round of golf we have to control how to be laser focused for 0.85 seconds 60-120 times. This is why golf is so hard. Think Golf Academy’s audios aim to force you to control your focus over-and-over again. The repetition in the process (audios) allow you to enter deep learning quicker and more often. So when you get on the first tee box next time your brain automatically defaults to the TGA process rather than being flooded with swing detrimental thoughts. Allowing you to finally stripe the middle of the fairway over-and-over again.

Want to know
how to hit drivers consistently? how to hit irons with confidence? how to putt better?
THINK GOLF

How do we learn?

In 1949 psychologist Donald Hebb adapted Pavlov’s “associative learning rule” to explain how brain cells might acquire knowledge. Hebb proposed that when two neurons fire together, sending off impulses simultaneously, the connections between the synapses grow stronger. When this happens, learning has taken place.

“Synapses that fire together wire together” – R. Douglas Fields.

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Why do we forget so much that we learn?

What we retain depends on our emotional response to an experience (striking a ball perfectly releases a positive emotion, duffing it releases a negative emotion. These are the two most memorable shots). What we retain depends on our emotional response to an experience.

When we have a majority of negative emotion (a rough day on the range) we often compartmentalize the whole day’s process. So even those great shots you take get lost due to the majority of negative feeling shots.

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When do we truly start learning new skills?

At first, researchers presumed that subtle differences in brain composition were predisposed in people. So someone who’s really good at playing the piano must have had natural abilities in playing piano before they even started. This is wrong. Subsequent research proves learning actually changes the physical structure of the brain. Remarkably, physical changes in the brain can happen much faster during learning than might be expected. Assaf of Tel Aviv University and his colleagues showed that 16 laps around a race track in a computerized video game were enough to cause changes in new players’ hippocampal brain region.

 

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Deep Learning and Myelin

The gray matter in our brain is the outer layer where consciousness arises. Below this surface are billions of tightly packed bundles of axons (nerve fibers), much like tightly wound fibers under the leather skin of a baseball. These fiber bundles are white because the axons are coated with a fatty substance called myelin, which acts as electrical insulation and boosts the speed of transmission by 50 to 100 times. In the past 10 years studies have begun to find differences in white matter in brain scans of experts with a variety of skills, including people with high proficiency in reading and arithmetic. Expert golfers and trained jugglers also show differences in white matter compared with novices. If information processing and learning arise from the strengthening of synaptic connections between neurons in gray matter, why does learning affect the brain’s subsurface cabling (white matter)?

Myelin insulation is formed by layers of cell membrane wrapped around axons like electrical tape. The less insulation, the more space between axons. To keep it simple, the more space between axons the slower brain function occurs. Thus, brain function speeds up as axons get wrapped with more myelin.

In any complex action the brain aims to complete, a golf swing for example, the time of arrival at network relay points is critical-think of missing a connection because your flight arrives too late.

Deep learning is a proven myelin growing process. For example, as a person learns to play “Für Elise” on the piano, bare axons are wrapped with myelin or the volume of existing sheaths is increased in circuits that are activated repetitively during practice, which speeds information flow through brain networks. New myelin then shows up on an MRI as changes in white matter tracts in parts of the brain that are necessary for musical performance.

Deep learning occurs when the brain has a sharply focused, time-structured goal. In this state the brain is primed to increase levels of myelin at a higher rate.

Think Golf Academy will make you do this pose a lot

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