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Name: Aric
Status: student
Age: 9-12
Location: NM
Country: N/A
Date: 9/16/2005


Question:
Hello. I was lately thinking about the reaction time of the brain to react to something seen and then resend the command for an action to be taken. I was wondering if thise speed can be sped up somehow. The speed at which it runs now is already phonominal but I was curious if the actual speed of the brains commands can be increased, say by eating certain minerals, or playing or reading certain things, etc.


Replies:
Great question with many interesting implications!

I am not a true expert here but you should look at the CNS and PNS (peripheral NS) together in terms of reaction time...most of the distance impulses need to traverse are in the PNS. Neurotransmitters like epinephrine certainly makes the PNS more reactive....I am not sure but would expect it to have a similar effect on the motor areas of the brain as well. But realize that there is a blood-brain barrier in adults that controls what enters the brain from general circulation.

Atheles during an intense game periodically hit what is known as "the zone" where everything outside seems to slowdown (e.g.like the end of the Matrix 1 movie) which means their internal CNS-PNS system is working faster or more efficiently to make many repeated "super human" decisions and execute them. I wonder what research has been done to explain this phenomena. But it happens rather frequently especially in big games. Cursory support for your premise.

Lou Harnisch


One chemical that can speed up the reaction time is adreneline. As for other chemicals, I have not heard of anything on the market right now that can speed up reaction time. Possibly meds that increase alertness would allow the reaction time to be greater. Playing certain things or doing "brain excercises" can stimulate the brain. If you want your reaction time to increase, the best way is gain your focus and practice.

Grace Fields


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