The Athletic Brain

In the April issue of Discover, I take a look at the mind of the athlete. We may think of sports as a matter of muscle, but the brain is vital as well. And in becoming great athletes, people develop unusual brains. This transformation only makes sense–any intense training can change the brain, whether it’s practicing the piano or learning Mandarin. But for some reason, the idea that being a great athlete is, in part, a cerebral exercise still comes as a surprise. In fact, according to this ESPN take on my column, it’s downright disappointing.