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UnderGround Forums >> How a beard effects the chin

6/24/13 3:02 PM
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Member Since: 7/4/11
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Jambo888 - 
dakotajudo - 
Ziga - Good reply dakotajudo.
But the tactical reaction time is not what's at play here. These reactions fall under flinching, which are the fastest reactions humans are capable of. Things like closing the eyes when you jump in the water, putting hands infront of the face before impact( which is why most wounds are on hands and arms, in accidents etc.), pulling the head away etc. It falls under flinching, please look up the exact timing, but its the fastest we are capable of because it bypasses the thoughts and goes straight to the cortex.
And since all I claimed was that it improves the ability to roll (half an inch means a mile with ko punches), I still stand by my statement.

It is exactly the "tactile" reaction time that you impy in your OP. Tactile, as in touch, no tactical.

Flinches, more commonly referred to in the literature as startle, are of the faster somatic reflex responses, but still on the order of 100ms; that leeway was implied in my response. 

That is, somatic responses using larger muscle groups have response times around 200-300 ms, while the fastest I can find (vestibulomasseteric - see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2343496/) has about a 10ms latency - that is, the time from stimulus to a first measurable electrophysiological signal in the muscle. Assume an additional 10-20 ms delay until peak muscle contraction. 

All told, still well shy of the 1 ms advance warning given by a beard.

Your problem is that you have failed to prove your original premise - that there is "beard effect". You might want to prove that, first, before attempting a physiological explanation.

There may indeed be a beard effect, but I doubt it's physiological. Much more likely to be psychological. Never discount the placebo effect in athletic performance. If a beard makes you feel tougher, you probably will be tougher. There may also be a perceived dominance effect. That is, your beard makes you appear more "manly" to your opponent, thus affecting his performance. See, for example, the "red shirt" effect, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410701744446#.Uccr1Ba-3ww and http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410701736244#.UccrTRa-3ww


Finally, what you describe as flinching - closing your eyes and raising your arms - are reflexive, but conditioned and directed -and are not the fastest responses; not as fast as simple reflex arcs involving a couple neurons (i.e. pulling the head away). However, you are wrong to say "bypasses all thoughts and goes straight to the cortex". The cerebral cortex is were conscious processes (thoughts) occur, so by definition reflex responses don't go to the cortex. However, that does not mean the reflex responses are not processed, in varying degrees, by the CNS. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301008298000987


interesting analysis. what's your background smarty pants

Wow, literally nothing to add. Nice work, I'd give you more VUs if I could. You do neuro research?

And you're damn right about placebo, most amazing thing for me when I started research was seeing how ubiquitous it is. If placebo can cause a sufficiently large effect to make you think a useless drug is curing cancer, it can damn well make someone think they've got a better chin.
6/24/13 5:34 PM
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Ziga -
horsemeat grew my head -  Where do you buy your weed? Phone Post

Same place you buy your witts. I don't.
Are you implying if someone touches your beard/hair but not the actual skin, you don't feel it? Think before you post.
Calculate the speed of the punch, and then how much warning 3cm actually gives you. Probably way less than the minimal human reaction time. I don't buy your logic. Phone Post 3.0
6/24/13 5:53 PM
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dakotajudo -
Ziga - I've seen many discussions and comments about how a beard improved a fighters chin. These are my thoughts on it based on what I know.
The first thing to disregard is the cushion comment, saying that a nice bushy beard cushions the blow. A beard has very little resistance so it cushions little to nothing, especially taking the recent study of headgear (which resulted in eliminating headgear in olympic boxing)into consideration.
But it obviously does offer improvement and in my opinion because it functions like whiskers. Many animals, both on land and in water use whiskers to sense their soraundings, before it comes in contact with the face/snout.
So If a fighter has a beard that reaches 3-5 cm from his face/chin, this gives him the advantage, of sensing the strikes he didn't see, 3-5cm before they make contact with the face (as opposed to a fighter with no beard, who only senses the strike he couldn't see, when it makes contact with the face), thus giving him the said distance to roll with them, not absorbing them full force. And fighting is a game of inches, as they say.

There are two key flaws to your theory.

FIrst, animal whiskers are not the same as facial hair. Technically, these are specialized sensory organs called vibrissae; stiffer than most hair fibers, more highly ennervated (making them more sensitive) and commonly with some degree of independent muscle control - they can be used like a blind man uses a cane.

Second, if we allow that there is a indeed 3-5 cm buffer, that allows a fighter to sense a strike, we need to consider that this translates to, for a strike with a reasonable velocity of 6 m/s (Olympic boxers throw at +/- 9 m/s - http://bjsportmed.com/content/39/10/710.full ) provides an advance warning of 0.8 milliseconds.

Reaction times to tactile stimuli are on the order of 100 ms (http://www.jneurosci.org/content/26/42/10879.full).

Binocular processing (that is, seeing the punch coming) provides a lot more warning time; predicting from body motions even more. In other words, experience >> beard.

VU as well... Phone Post 3.0

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