The Warriors are arguably both the best and most technologically savvy team in the NBA right now. Since they were purchased by a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists in 2010, the franchise's fortunes have turned around dramatically. And while much of that can and should be attributed to wise roster management and sage coaching decisions—and ya know, the emergence of the Splash Brothers—Golden State has also been on the cutting edge of technologies like SportVu tracking and "wearable technology" in recent seasons.
It seems they're always a step ahead of the rest of the NBA. Their newest experiment: brain-zapping headphones engineered to "neuroprime" an athlete's mind to “accelerate gains in strength, explosiveness, and dexterity.” Brain. Zapping. Headphones.
"The electrodes incorporated in the Halo headphones are positioned to send a current through the motor cortex, where commands to the muscles originate," The New Yorker writes. "Don the headphones for twenty minutes during your warmup, activate them with the associated app, and your brain will be ready to deliver 'stronger, more synchronous' signals to your muscles, the company claims."
So do these things really work? Studies have yielded conflicting results. While most of it is positive (there's no debating the fact that tDCS, or transcranial direct-current stimulation, actually effects athletes), there is at least one example, from the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in June, that might dissuade NBA teams from trying the headphones. Researchers presented data showing tDCS did not improve performance in intermittent sprinting, which is obviously required during a basketball game.
One thing is for sure: whether they work or not, some other eager NBA teams are probably about to jump on this wave.
Oh, and just in case you were thinking of copping a pair? They're currently sold out (sorry, Cavaliers!). These neuroscience hypebeasts, man.
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