Nerve Impulse Speed
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,
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.
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.
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Update: June 2012