The Straits Times
Published on Jan 31, 2013

Jocks beat scholars in complex visual brain teasers


PARIS (AFP) - Professional athletes learn quicker than university students to unravel complex visual data, according to a study that challenges the age-old brains-vs-brawn cliche.

Jocks are brainy too, in fact they are smarter in some dynamic contexts, concludes the paper in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

"They appear to be able to hyper-focus for short periods of time resulting in extraordinary learning functions," wrote study author Jocelyn Faubert from the University of Montreal School of Optometry.

"Professional athletes as a group have extraordinary skills for rapidly learning unpredictable, complex dynamic visual scenes," she said.