字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Your heart races and your cheeks begin to flush; as you anticipate the surge of energy this win will bring, you move to the edge of your seat - you can't get enough! So why are we so passionately involved or obsessed with sports? Hormones control the way we feel and are stimulated by every action we take. Hugging a friend releases oxytocin making you feel calm, while cramming for an exam releases cortisol leading to irritability - but also alertness. Simply watching sports stimulates hormone levels as well. Testosterone in particular is a hormone linked to dominance and social interaction, but also increases brain power, spatial awareness and muscle growth. And scientists have found that after watching your team win, levels of testosterone skyrocket, especially compared to experiencing a loss. Funnily enough, this has even been documented in politics: during the 2008 US election, males who voted for Obama were found to have much higher levels of testosterone after he won, than those who voted for McCain. When your favourite athlete takes home the gold, a surge of dopamine is also released. This biological rush activates pleasure centres in the brain while increasing memory and learning. This increased memory helps explain why some people continue to watch sports - they're looking to recreate the physiological excitement they can't seem to forget. The brain also contains cells called Mirror Neurons which are not only activated when completing an action, but also when viewing it, or even hearing it. Certain mirror neurons will be activated when throwing a ball, seeing someone throw a ball, or even hearing the word 'ball'. It's the reason we can 'put ourselves in another's shoes, and why we experience a similar emotional and physical reaction to somebody else winning. In fact, scientists monitoring both athletes and spectators see the same parts of the brain activated - as if the viewer were playing the game. From an evolutionary perspective, this allows us to understand the mental states of others and interpret their actions and intentions, as well as empathize with them. It also helps to explain why we find such pleasure and excitement in seeing our favourite team or athlete become a champion. Curiously, scientists have found that some people have problems with this mirror neuron system. This renders them unable to empathize with others, leading to some social disorders. At the extreme ends, serial killers have been found to lack this mirror neuron system. Science says, our obsession with sports may be a great example of our adapted hormonal and neuronal systems at work, keeping us connected as the human race... while watching humans race. Don't forget: we have a new video out every day during the Olympics! But if you can't wait, head to cbc.ca/olympics/ScienceSays for more. Keep asking those burning questions with the hashtag ScienceSays and subscribe for more awesome science videos!