Magazine article USA TODAY

Now We Know Why Those Tall Quarterbacks Are So Much Better

Magazine article USA TODAY

Now We Know Why Those Tall Quarterbacks Are So Much Better

Article excerpt

Tall quarterbacks might have more going for them than a clear view over the offensive line. Research shows that tall people are better than shorter ones at correctly identifying the location of targets in their middle-distance vision--between three and 22 yards away. That visual superiority holds true even when tall people sit down and their shorter counterparts stand on a box or stool, found a first-of-its-kind study at Ohio State University, Columbus.

The research supports the idea that, with height comes better spatial relations, says study author Teng Leng Ooi, professor of optometry. The study could point to advantages for taller people in certain situations. "Taller athletes have advantages on the field, especially in sports such as tennis and football," she says.

Spatial relations are a person's ability to place something in relation to the other objects around it. Our eyes alone are not sufficient to assess the space around us adequately, and researchers believe that the brain makes up for the eyes' deficits by applying built-in knowledge for determining where things are in that space. …

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