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Governing Talent Selection through the Brain: Constructing Cognitive Executive Function as a Way of Predicting Sporting Success
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogisk idrottsforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8684-3724
Mälardalens högskola.
2019 (English)In: Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, ISSN 1751-1321, E-ISSN 1751-133X, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

An increasingly central part of the scientific debate in sports has come to focus on how neuroscience can help to explain sports performance and development of expertise. In particular, the process of identifying young talents has been increasingly influencedby neuroscientific tests to identify future potential. It has been argued that instead of relying on coaches’ subjective assessments the process of selection should be based on general metrics of the brain through standardized testing. One key neurological functionhighlighted in the search for talent is cognitive executive functions. In the contemporary debate, studies of brain activity have suggested that children should undergo neuroscientific testing to determine the appropriate cognitive executive functions (CEF) for elite sports.This paper builds on previous work on the implications of a neuroscientific ontology in sports and Bruno Latour’s work onthe construction of scientific facts. Departing from discourse analysis,this paper studies the production and popularization of CEF as scientific facts. The findings illustrate how representations of brain activity are visualized and legitimized and how the out-of context tests are translated into facts about brain functions. The CEF test results are produced as inscriptions of undisputable facts, claiming that the results show prerequisites for sporting success.We argue that the mind-brain-behaviour relationship cannot be reduced to CEF tests and instead calls for a critical gaze on neuroscientific truth-claims and taken-for-granted facts in the area of sport.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019. p. 1-20
Keywords [en]
neuroscience; cognitive executive functions; talent identification; inscriptions; interpretative repertoires
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5781DOI: 10.1080/17511321.2019.1631880OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5781DiVA, id: diva2:1328659
Available from: 2019-06-22 Created: 2019-06-22 Last updated: 2019-08-14Bibliographically approved

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910111213141512 of 23
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