“Soccer can be considered as a model of war” is the clear assertion of Dr. Francisco Zamorano Mendieta, specialist in Medical Sciences and researcher at the Research Center for Social Complexity (CICS, as its Spanish acronym), in his outstanding participation in the “Jueves de Astorga” program by Fox Sports Radio.
On the occasion, the researcher addressed the main conclusions drawn from a study done to the fans’ brains, and also made reference to what happens with players on soccer field. Using neuroimaging techniques, different valence stimuli were presented to Colo Colo and Universidad de Chile fans, who were shown videos of goals between both teams and other ones. The hypothesis was there would be some patterns of activation that would be different.
Zamorano said that when looking at the different situations within the soccer field as spectators, two hormones are activated: testosterone, a hormone associated with aggression and cortisol, related to stress; thus, when a soccer team wins or loses, its fans activates one of these two hormones, depending on the result.
Regarding the brain characteristics of players, the researcher added that “not all of us have the same abilities to face stressful situations, and this has to do with ontological development, which occurs from gestation to death. So, all the experiences that surround (especially) the earliest stages of growth, will shape the character”, he said. And he added that those skills related to reasoning during the game, “are trained and not in the same way for all players”, resulting in either passionate or controlled actions.
Dr. Zamorano says that “soccer can be considered a model of war”, a conclusion obtained from a study conducted with Waldemar Méndez, former professional soccer player and current soccer analyst and commentator on Fox Sport Radio. Both conclude that if the main player is knocked down, the team suffers because “it is a direct attack on morals”, emphasizes the researcher.
Regarding the usefulness this study has for the current Government program, “Estadio Seguro”, the CICS researcher assures that, when these groups of people (fans) are forming, “within the brain occurs a very special phenomenon, since the part that controls the behavior is deactivated, and that is when the individuality disappears and you begin to act as the others act”. Zamorano affirms this is the ideal moment for possible external intervention, “because you can avoid violence (in the stadiums) by working with the groups leaders, the authority figure that leads this group, which seems unsuitable.”
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