It is interesting that every time we think, every time we imagine, or ponder, theorize or scrutinize we change our brains. The act of thinking releases chemicals in our brain. These chemicals and electrical impulses associated with them dictate how or what we think, how we act and often our perception of the world around us.
Although there are many fascinating highlights of how these electrochemical processes are manifest in everyday life, we will very briefly here consider one.
The cerebellum is situated at the base of the brain where the medulla oblongata intersects with the spinal cord. This area of the brain has a primary function of motor control. It does not actually create movement, but is a fine tuner. It regulates and times the movement of the body and is a fundamental contributor to coordination. Individuals with a dysfunction or damage to the cerebellum exhibit marked impairment of motor control and coordination. In addition the nature of the cerebellums method of processing information or electro-chemical impulses is unique in the brain. It is now believed that due to this unique feedforward or unidirectional information processing that the cerebellum acts as a type of processor for the brain, setting the brains speed, not much unlike the processor speed in a modern-day computer.
That said how, do thoughts affect the cerebellum? Research done recently with scan photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans on the brain manifest an interesting correlation. Individuals dwelling on negative thoughts exhibit a measurable decrease in activity in the cerebellum. Dr. Amen, a leading pioneer in SPECT scans even noted that one individual dwelling on negative thoughts had her cerebellum, “completely shut down.” That said we all know the prevalence of the use of positive thoughts in athletics almost to the point of it being a cliché. Well it seems there is a clear physical connection of mental attitude to actions that links the notion of negative thinking being involved in athletic slumps. So, although it’s an aphorism, success in sports may be in a quite physical way 90% positive thinking.