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NEUROBIOLOGY

OF A BOXER
JD Ye

General Nervous System


Nervous System

Central

Peripheral

Somatic

Autonomic

Brain and Spinal Cord

Near and Far vision


(Accomodation)
When the opponent is near, he/she appears large in
thefield of vision, and the eye receiveslightfrom wide
angles. When moving focus from a distant to a near object,
the eyes converge. Theciliary musclecontracts making
thelensmore convex, shortening its focal length.The
converse occurs for far vision (when opponent runs to side
of the ring)
The retina captures the light rays, which are sent through
the optic nerve, which is part of the central nervous system,
through the optic chiasm, thalamus, and into the visual
cortices of the occipital lobes at the back of the brain.
Perception then occurs.

Vestibuloocular Reflex helps


to keep boxers gaze focused

Primary Motor Cortex


Every action (boxing) activates the primary motor
cortex, which sends signals to the muscles through
the spinal chord and motor neurons in order for them
to contract/relax.

Sometimes, actions can also occur as a result of


a reflex, where signals are transmitted from sensory
neurons directly to motor neurons through synapses
without ever reaching the brain. For example, when
boxer opponent punches your knee, you immediately
move your knee away. Same goes for getting
punched, you immediately evade without conscious
thought.

Efference Copy and sensory


reafference

Dopamine inhibitor to
restrict certain movement
to give agility of boxer

Conscious VS reflex
Conscious thoughts take place in the frontal areas of brain (cerebrum,
cerebellum) which are in charge of complex or executive functions such
as strategic thinking and decision making.
Reflex actions, such as blinking, breathing, swallowing, etc., are
regulated by the autonomic nervous system and controlled by the
medulla oblongata.

Operational Learning/Fast
Learning
Many of the boxing actions that we are able to perform unconsciously are
far more complex than that. In fact, they even start out as conscious
actions when we first learn how to do them, but through practice and
repetition we are able to get better at them until they come out naturally.
These actions are planned and processed by the parietal lobe and
cerebellum without the need to involve the frontal lobes.
Also, many of the boxing movements are chunked together through
operational learning, they become habits through continuous practice.

Problems/injuries with Boxing


Subdural Hematoma, a rupturing of the veins between the brain and
the skull, and Cerebral Edema, a buildup of water in the brain, leading
to a buildup of intracranial pressure, which can lead to more severe
vessel rupturing and affecting the blood flow to the brain.
Brief loss of short-term memory (due to blunt force trauma)
(hippocampus)

Ways in which this course has allowed me to


better analyze the events and phenomena
around me
As a biology student, I have understood more about the complex
workings of our wonderful brain. Professor Peggys class has delved in
depth about the small things that come together to make our brain
tick, and has inspired me into proposing new theories and
experimenting to solve the next few mysteries of our nervous system,
and finally one day being able to understand the way our mind
perceives emotions such as love and HOW our brain actually provides
them its meaning.
The course has provided new perspectives into the inner functionings
of the brain, and also new insights into things which we never used to
observe closely for ourselves, but which are happening behind closed
windows in our skull.