4 months ago
Can Playing Ping Pong Boost Brain Power? "In ping pong, we have enhanced motor functions, enhanced strategy functions and enhanced long-term memory functions," explained Dr. Wendy Suzuki, professor of neuroscience and psychology at New York University.
According to Suzuki, table tennis works parts of the brain that are responsible for movement, fine motor skills and strategy areas that could be growing stronger with each match. While scientists have yet to study the brain activity of ping pong players, Suzuki believes the game enhances brain function unlike any other sport.
Table Tennis Is the No. 1 Brain Sport, Scientists Say "Table tennis is the number one brain sport, so we figured this was a great way to get people interested in the brain because a lot of people play table tennis," explained Rob DeSalle, curator for the Museum.
Holding a human brain to get players' attentions, Suzuki pointed out specific areas that are stimulated by playing table tennis.
According to Suzuki, there are three major areas affected by this high-speed game. The fine motor control and exquisite hand-eye coordination involved with dodging and diving for the ball engages and enhances the primary motor cortex and cerebellum, areas responsible for arm and hand movement.
Ping Pong, Like Chess, Involves Strategy
Secondly, by anticipating an opponent's shot, a player uses the prefrontal cortex for strategic planning. Lastly, the aerobic exercise from the physical activity of the game stimulates the hippocampus, the part of the brain that is responsible for allowing us to form and retain long-term facts and events. "There's a lot of strategy and the area that gets enhanced is the prefrontal cortex, critical not only in ping pong, but also in chess," said Suzuki.
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