(Motor)cycling improves your brain

Bikerbob

Pedelecer
May 10, 2007
215
0
Isle of Man
I see that the man who developed the Brain Training software for Nintendo has been doing research on how motorcycling affects the brain. He got a group of 40+ year olds to return to motorcyling and compared their results with a similar group that didn't. After two months there was a considerable improvement in the brain function of the motorcyclists. He suggested that it was because if the human brain can take life easy - relaxing behind the wheel of a car with the radio playing soothingly - it will. Riding a motor cycle requires the brain to wake up and start working for a living. It was also found that people who motorcycle to work perform better there than non-motorcyclists - presumably because their brain function is already better and the ride has made them more alert and 'on the ball'.

I suppose this won't work in the same way for cyclists. Generally the cyclist doesn't need to process as much information or as quickly as a motorcyclist. However I would guess that the physical exercise and fresh air means that the cyclist arrives at work in a better state of mind than most. Grounds for a pay rise?:rolleyes:
 

rog_london

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 3, 2009
764
2
Harrow, Middlesex
I see that the man who developed the Brain Training software for Nintendo has been doing research on how motorcycling affects the brain. He got a group of 40+ year olds to return to motorcyling and compared their results with a similar group that didn't. After two months there was a considerable improvement in the brain function of the motorcyclists. He suggested that it was because if the human brain can take life easy - relaxing behind the wheel of a car with the radio playing soothingly - it will. Riding a motor cycle requires the brain to wake up and start working for a living. It was also found that people who motorcycle to work perform better there than non-motorcyclists - presumably because their brain function is already better and the ride has made them more alert and 'on the ball'.

I suppose this won't work in the same way for cyclists. Generally the cyclist doesn't need to process as much information or as quickly as a motorcyclist. However I would guess that the physical exercise and fresh air means that the cyclist arrives at work in a better state of mind than most. Grounds for a pay rise?:rolleyes:
That's interesting. As I do both (cycling and motorcycling), I'm certainly not so sure that a cyclist doesn't have to process as much information. There is often a speed disparity in traffic which a motorbike doesn't suffer from - if traffic is travelling at much more than say 25 mph (and often it is) a cyclist is definitely at a potential disadvantage and probably needs to be much more aware. I certainly find that a motorbike requires less concentration in normal traffic flow. I'm not talking about serious speed here, just getting from A to B in a reasonable manner.

I'd agree with you when comparing any two-wheeled transport to car driving though. That's something else I have to do by way of business, and I have driven huge mileages over the past forty-odd years. A car almost drives itself - or so it seems.

Rog.
 

john

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 1, 2007
531
0
Manchester
I find that cycling takes a lot more concentration than driving, there are just a lot more hazards to look out for; particularly if you assume that every other road user is going to do the worst possible thing, which is essential to stay safe.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
I would agree with his conclusions. As I've posted elsewhere, I never use any form of in car entertainment or news and push myself and the car when driving in order to maintain the maximum concentration and awareness of what is going on the other side of the glass. In other words I drive as I've always motorcycled and it's served me well in keeping me safe for a lifetime with both transport forms, that itself evidence of brain alertness.

I don't think cycling is too much different from motorcycling in this respect, the reduced speed awareness necessities offset by the increased dangers from lower speed in respect of other traffic.
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,479
23,296
Perhaps the judge in this case should have taken up motorcycling some years ago to improve his judgement. :D
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Danny-K

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 25, 2008
281
0
South West
Cycling will do it also! Of that I'm convinced. It's not just the mental effort involved - the sun plays an important part too, and in a car, you're better protected from the sun.

ie., You may have read how exercise can release endorphins into the bloodstream giving a ‘high’ beloved of fitness enthusiasts. Likewise on a sunny day, the sun’s rays striking the eye, are reckoned to stimulate the body’s central nervous system which in turn releases naturally occurring opiate type chemicals into the body, producing a similar state of well being. On a bicycle the sun's rays will strike the eye more readily than the eye shielded in a car. So on a bicycle you get two boosts of endorphins: from exercise and being outdoors.

And as all motorcyclists will tell you, helmet or not, bright dazzling sunshine can be a serious safety hazard as the helmet doesn't keep it out as much as you'd think it would. It's been well known that depressives and those suffering the blues respond miraculously to sunlight - There's even gadgets to fool the brain's body clock and simulate a form of sunlight that attach like spectacles to help jet travellers escape jet-lag upon reaching their destination.

I'm pretty sure the results would be equally successful if the test guinea pigs included gardeners, joggers, etc.,
 
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Barnowl

Esteemed Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2008
954
1
Yes but if you wear cycling glasses I guess you don't get the additional benefit. :(
 

JohnofCambridge

Pedelecer
Aug 21, 2007
113
0
Stapleford, Cambridge
I would vouch from personal experience on how much quicker I can be active and alert at work having electric biked in.

I don't need a soporific drink before starting - just some water. I don't need a shower on arrival - I can get stuck straight in

Maybe the Japanese have something with their collective exercises before work. Us Brits ( the few of us who cycle) can be much more efficient and have our "alerting" exercise on the way:)
 

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