October 2018 Non-Fiction Maths & Science

The Performance Cortex: How Neuroscience is Redefining Athletic Genius Zach Schonbrun


Paperback | Oct 2018 | Arena Sport | 9781909715653 | 352pp | 230x150mm | GEN | AUD$34.99, NZD$39.99

Why couldn't Michael Jordan, master athlete that he was, hit a baseball? Why can't modern robotics come close to replicating the dexterity of a five-year-old? Why do good quarterbacks always seem to know where their receivers are?

In this deeply researched book, Sports and Business reporter Zach Schonbrun explores what actually drives human movement and its spectacular potential. The groundbreaking work of two neuroscientists in Major League Baseball is only the beginning. Schonbrun traces the fascinating history of motor research and details how new investigations in the brain are helping explain the extraordinary skills of talented performers like Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, and Lionel Messi; as well as musical virtuosos, dancers, rock climbers, race-car drivers, and more.

Whether it is timing a 95-mph fastball or reaching for a coffee mug, movement requires extraordinary computation that many take for granted – until now. The Performance Cortex ushers in a new way of thinking about the athletic gifts we strain to see in our cavernous arenas. It's not about the million-dollar arm anymore. It's about the million-dollar brain.

'Schonbrun's deep dive into the cutting-edge science of human movement gives the reader X-ray vision into the brains of the world's greatest performers. It will enthrall anyone who has watched a sporting event and asked: How do they do that?' — David Epstein, author of the bestselling The Sports Gene