The Brain Basketball Game

With all of our clients and at different talks, we frequently reference a basketball game to talk about balance in the brain.

Picture this…

The Denver Nuggets are playing a game against the LA Lakers. The game is going well, everything is running smoothly until the ball starts rolling across the floor. As members dive to grab it, they all end up in a dog pile, battling for the ball.

The players can’t communicate with each other. No one can make a call or even make eye contact to say, “I’m going to pass the ball to you.”

This is what happens with “hyper-connectivity” in the brain. It happens in the frontal lobes where all of the executive functioning takes place.

Now picture this…

The Denver Nuggets are trying to play a basketball game against the LA Lakers, but the Nuggets players are all across the state. Ty Lawson is in Vail, Wilson Chandler is way down in Durango, JJ Hickson is in Grand Junction, and Aaron Brooks is in Colorado Springs. Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant is sitting with his team in Denver shooting baskets by themselves. But, try as they might, the Nuggets players can’t shoot a ball in Denver and they can’t make any communications connections from that far apart.

This is what happens with “hypo-connectivity” in the brain. When the sites can’t connect, the fibers in the brain cannot travel and do what they need to do to execute tasks. “Coherence” is how different sites communicate and speak to each other in the brain.

So, what happens when Wilson Chandler tries to throw the ball from Durango to Ty Lawson in Vail? What happens when the information gets lost? Well, if it’s lost in the left hemisphere, we can have things like delayed speech, gross motor issues, tripping, and falling. If it’s lost in the right hemisphere we can have mood dysregulation, anxiety, explosive moods and bilateral temporal lobe dysregulation.

When dysregulation is happening, communication isn’t traveling like it should and possessing speed is impacted. This is when parent’s come in and say, “I say things to my child but it just doesn’t stick! We’ve gone over it. We’ve had tutors. We’ve done everything.”

Neurofeedback therapy helps us identify when Ty Lawson is stuck in Vail and trying to pass a ball to Aaron Brooks in Colorado Springs – it helps us see when communication isn’t traveling like it should in the brain. With instant feedback, we can work to help bring those two closer so they can work together to defend Kobe Bryant waiting for them in Denver – we can reduce anxiety and increase processing speeds.