Athletes found to have strong mental processing abilities

Athletes found to have strong mental processing abilities

In society, there is a misconception that those who are more athletic tend not to be as smart as bookish individuals. This is certainly not true, and the results of an IQ test can quickly put this myth to rest. However, if people still need convincing, they may want to turn to the findings of a recent University of Montreal study.

According to Professor Jocelyn Faubert's research, many athletes actually have more developed cognitive functions than the average college student. To arrive at these findings, Faubert worked with 173 elite amateur athletes, 102 professional athletes and 33 non-athlete university students. These study participants were then asked to describe a series of objects moving through three dimensions.

Of the three groups, professional athletes proved they were better able to process what they were seeing than the amateur athletes, who, in turn, did better than students.

"Clearly, mental processing and learning skills are key to the excellent performance of the professional athletes," Faubert said. "However, it is unclear whether this superior learning ability is unique to professional athletes, and moreover whether these are innate skills that led them to be selected by these teams, or whether these skills have been acquired through extensive training."

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