Debbie Crews apparently STILL has not read ANY books about the brain. I surveyed ALL of her writings, including her PhD dissertation (have a copy in a bag under my bed), and examined ALL of her footnoted references, and thru 2008 there were ZERO references to ANY books about the brain. That's pretty astonishing, since she purports to measure and then explain the processes of the brain. In fact, that's absolutely inexplicably stupid.
The twenty years 1990-2010 have seen a complete REWRITING of what is known about the human brain, and the research avalanche in these years has extended our knowledge of brain processes by a factor of 350 times more than was known in all human history prior to 1990. That's the knowledge Debbie Crews is ignoring, and professing to comment upon. That's bizarre.
The EEG is the weakest, least informative of all brain scanning technologies, compared to the PET Scan, CT scan, functional MRI, and similar real-research technologies. No one in neuroscience uses an EEG scalp with 12 leads. people who do that operate small "neurofeedback" offices trying to help ADD children learn how to calm down. And, of course, study putting in university studios with a few captive college kids as guinea pigs.
The EEG leads measure voltage on the scalp, and don't measure anything deeper than that. Everything that an EEG measurement SUPPOSEDLY relates to in real brain processes in the cortex and deeper inside the structure of the brain is "inferred" from the scalp voltage. In other words, it's not really brain science at all, but something closer to a psychology student "speculating" about what is beneath the scalp "here" or "over there". An electrode on the back of the scalp supposedly measures "vision", and one above the ear supposedly measure whatever is understood to be going on inside the "parietal lobe". In other words, EVEN IF YOU KNEW WHAT MIGHT BE GOING ON IN THE BRAIN near a specific area of the scalp, the EEG wires aren't really going to tell you anything more than "something's happening inside there now".
Besides, her EEG composite pictures really show the same colors spread widely across very different brain areas. Red for the visual area, and the language centers, and the proprioceptive areas, and the emotional control centers, and the motor planning areas -- all one hue! So obviously there is nothing to learn from this. It's like someone on top of the Vienna Opera House on new Year's Eve peering down at dancers moving to Strauss' waltz, and saying "all the dancers are wearing gowns and tuxedos and moving in the same tempo", and therefore they were all born in Westphalia at the same time!
Here is a sample of the complications one gets with REAL brain imaging, revealing the extremely localized tiny brain areas performing a vast array of different, distinct functions:
Here are a couple of images from neuroscience roughly indicating the detailed functional areas that Crews' EEG composite pictures slop together:
Here is a "brain map" that has some meaning in it, by showing something of the structural relations inside the brain:
Here is a fairly new imaging technology, showing the INTERCONNECTIONS between different cortical areas. If you think of the "cortex" as the thin "rind" of the mellon (all the "grey matter" is in the cortex), these fibers are connecting one part of the rind with another, coursing thru the interior spaces of the brain:
The brain science has been warning dilettante's since about 1995 NOT to misunderstand how the "left brain" and the "right brain" function. Specifically, all this "left-brain does this and right-brain does that sort of talk is KNOWN in neuroscience to be completely ignorant of real processes. The Dean of split-brain research, Michael Gazzaniga (Google him) started all this trendy 1970s-speak in the pop psychology circles of university-level motor sports research, and he has been trying relentlessly since then to get these fools to stop misrepresenting the science. yes, specific modules are usually "more" located on one side than the other, and some are "more" that way than others, but in general, only people with their brains sawed in half actually have left-brain and right-brain the way that people like Debbie Crews describe the brain and its functioning. Real brains have many discrete functions washing together in time that are COORDINATED left and right by these interconnecting pathways. No specific brain function localized in a tiny area does ANY GOOD AT ALL until it's functioning is SHARED and its purpose fulfilled by traveling to somewhere else in the brain to help with the lager function.
So, for Debbie Crews to take EEG scalp readings for 25 years and try to figure out what they might mean to a golfer -- without EVER reading what the science of the brain has to say about it -- is just pathetic.
Even if she has read any of the 1,000s of available books of current, revolutionary neuroscience, it sure doesn't show in her explaining what she says she has learned about the brain.
For heaven's sake, she says "chaotic color patterns" obtained from a bad putter who was obviously not very good or experienced at putting and who seemed to be nervous and thinking too much about mechanics MEANS THAT the bad putter got poor results because he was obviously not very good or experienced at putting and seemed to be nervous and thinking too much about mechanics. Then she says "homogenous color patterns" obtained from a good putter who was obviously at ease with his skills and experienced and who seemed not too concerned about mechanics MEANS THAT good putter got good results because he was obviously at ease with his skills and experienced and he seemed not too concerned about mechanics. After 25 years of this junk science, Debbie Crews concludes that "a chaotic color pattern" of EEG voltages CAUSES poor putting and an "homogeneous color pattern" CAUSES good putting.
Then she searches for ways to induce the color patterns in golfers' heads, for example by advising golfers not to think too much about mechanics.
This is childish stupidity, and there is really no other way to characterize it. Do golfers really fall for this? Apparently Guy Yocum at Golf Digest does.
I've actually written about this article before on my PuttingZone Blog. Click here to read that, if you like
Even beyond the absence of top-down brain science, Debbie Crews does not know anything about putting as a set of skills. For example, she has no real knowledge of HOW the brain perceives space when reading putts or aiming the putter and the body for stroke motion, and she has zero understanding of the effect that skill or absence of skill has to do with the mind set of the golfer when it comes to executing the planned putt. So her 25-year search for how to teach the "mind set" for putting is rather hopeless.
Golfers don't get a "mind set" off the shelf. the mind set comes with the skills. Crews doesn't want to teach skills, and she frankly has no effort at understanding them or what skill has to do with mind set.
What Crews refers to as "putting" is merely "stroke". So she has zero knowledge or study about what skills or lack of skills lead up to making the stroke. For example, after 25 years of university-level (?) study, Crews sums it up this way: "The player who involves the mechanical side of the brain too much is in trouble," she says. "You should pay a great deal of attention to aim, alignment and factors like that at the beginning, and then shut down the mechanical side of your brain. At that point you want to be target-oriented and allow your imagery, feel and emotion to take over."
Hear that? "Pay attention" to reading and aiming "and factors like that" .. whatever they may be, and however they may be attended to and performed skillfully. She know NOTHING about those skills, and also NOTHING about whether good skill affects or determines the mind set she is searching. Of course it does!
This is typical dilettante crappola from someone who unfortunately gets credentialed by our university system. If you have little skill at reading and aiming, of course you will have a troubled mind when staring down at your feet wondering how this putt is going to work out or what needs to be done to fix things. That's the mind set for nearly ALL golfers from cradle to grave, including Tour players, who don't understand or possess sound reading and aiming skills. A putting coach ought to be able to help with that.
But, in today's American golf culture, a putting coach has to spend a LOT of "stupid time" trying to convince people that skill leads to a good mind set, and in fact skills just leads to good results even if you lack the recommended mind set. What a waste of time.
This sort of "putting science" is about as bad as it gets, since it is bad golf and also bad science. But golfers are a gullible bunch. They will buy into anything with a lab-coat draped on it, or anything with a laptop, or anything with a "signal receiver" and a number. This sort of approach to golf is always with us, and so is the bogus science.
Anyone by any chance know who Charles Guiteau was?
Thanks for the question, sammy! I'm sure we have all learned a lot about the skills of putting in this answer.
Putting Coach and Theorist