Can juggling make people smart? - News


Scientists say practicing juggling can make people smarter. So how to play juggling balls?

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Can juggling make people smart?

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Learning juggling can bring you all kinds of benefits, it not only looks great, but also a pleasant form, and challenging, exercise. Equally important is, recent scientific research has linked juggling with key health benefits. We will reveal how this skill enhances your mental acuity (we back it up with convenient scientific knowledge), we will also provide you with a basic guide on how to master juggling art.

Juggling and your brain

In The Science of Juggling (Peter J. Beek and Arthur Lewbel, 1995) ithe earliest depiction of juggling is from antiquity, circa 1781 B.C. In the tomb of an unknown Prince a piece of artwork was discovered displaying Egyptian women juggling amongst each other, clearly indicating this famous ability is an ancient skill. However, despite the amount of time humans have been juggling, the first scientific research into the process only occurred in 1903. In this study Edgar James Swift published an article in the American Journal of Psychology suggesting that there were benefits of juggling for the human brain. Further research was held in the following decades, and by the 1980s mathematical formulas were being investigated by scientists such as Paul Klimek. His work involved the meticulous analysis of juggling patterns; in extensive diagrams he revealed the numerical order in which items are thrown and caught, the name given to these patterns being “site-swap”.

Current research is under way, focusing mainly on the health benefits of the brain, with the most significant research at Oxford University in 2009. A survey by Dr. Heidi Johansen-Berg eventually proved that juggling led to “changes in the white matter of the brain.” As the doctor clarified, “We have demonstrated that there are changes in the white matter of the brain—the bundles of nerve fibres that connect different parts of the brain—as a result of learning an entirely new skill.” From this research it is evident the mental processes involved in successful juggling improve the connectivity of the brain. Juggling experts such as JuggleFit have made it clear that this event will help: relieve stress, fight Alzheimer's disease, increase your concentration, increase your flexibility, avoid appetite and help stop smoking. Obviously you can achieve many of these health benefits by simply keeping yourself active, as Dr. Johansen-Berg clarifies, “there is a ‘use it or lose it’ school of thought, in which any way of keeping the brain working is a good thing, such as going for a walk or doing a crossword.”  Unlike these activities, juggling seems to have special significance to the human brain as it encourages the growth of nerve fibers. This promotes the overall health of the brain, as many scientists believe it, can help protect against the debilitating disease. Presumably, the distinction between a single ball juggling practice is to promote the growth of the nerve fibers, although it is clear more research is needed in order to fully understand just how juggling can help the human brain and its vast complexities. However, Dr. Johansen-Berg remains positive for the potential of juggling as a meditative aid, “Knowing that pathways in the brain can be enhanced may be significant in the long run in coming up with new treatments for neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, where these pathways become degraded.”

This study shows that there are many promising and powerful therapeutic abilities uncovered here, with that in mind, there is only one last question that you can take on this ancient trick and learn how to play around. We will help you.

Learn How To Juggle

As points out: “In order to learn juggling practice is essential. The simplest movement requires complex electrical/chemical circuitry within the brain. The study of this circuitry is fast becoming an important field of neuroscience.” From my experience, I think it is crucial to remember that you need to be patient when you practice - as a beginner, you will make a lot of mistakes. Although everyone learns at a different rate, I found it took 30 minutes to build a clumsy technique, about a week to complete the three ball cascade.

The professionals put it this way, “Jugglers learn in a narrow focus situation. Recall how most people learn to read. First, they learn to recognize the letters (the ball or pin). Then they learn to recognize the word (the juggling pattern). However, once this basic juggling “pattern” (the word) has been learned, then the focus can shift to a higher level still (the words become a sentence). An example of this would be a juggler on a rola-bola [a balance board].” Experts confirmed that, the only way to juggle is to practice,“Neuroscience tells us practice creates or builds the desired pathways in the brain.”  Once your mind understands these new electronic impulses then you will find yourself well on your way!

So how do you start? First, you need to get some bean bag juggling balls(The following figure, they are cheap), or you can use household items such as oranges, apples, or tennis. When you’re happy with your equipment take a look below at the perpetual motion image. This is the three ball cascade you’ll be learning; use this as a visual guide as it will prove very useful as a reference.

juggling ball

1.Get the basic “feel” by throwing an arc from one hand to the other; it should rise up to eye height at the peak of its arc.

2.A great method to perfect juggling is “scooping”, a technique that smooths out your movements. Scoop your hands when throwing back and forth as it helps greatly with overall fluidity.

3.Now, with a juggling ball in each hand, throw an arc to the other hand. When it is at the top of the arc, lower the other hand and launch another ball to the other hand. As each follows its arc catch them in your hands. Practice this to increase your understanding of the actions involved.


4.Now try 3 ball falls; hold two juggling balls in the right hand and one ball on the left. Follow point 3 exercise to sweep an arc from the right hand side. When it reaches the top of the arc, use the left hand to send the ball to the right.

5.Grab the first ball with your left hand while the second ball archs to the right, right now the third ball is fired to the left and ready to catch the second ball. Use the perpetual motion chart above for visual aids and remember that exercises are perfect! In a short time, you will have a great new skill.

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