Is playing football like falling in love? That question, which would perhaps not occur to most of us watching hours of the bruising game this holiday season, is the focus of a provocative and growing body of new science examining the role of oxytocin in competitive sports.
Until recently, though, scientists had not considered whether a substance that promotes cuddliness and warm, intimate bonding might also play a role in competitive sports.
But the idea makes sense, says Gert-Jan Pepping, a researcher at the Center for Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, and the author of a new review of oxytocin and competition. “Being part of a team involves emotions, as for instance when a team scores, and these emotions are associated with brain chemicals.”
By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS for the New York Times.
Read more here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/the-love-hormone-as-sports-enhancer/ and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444846/
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