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This video was originally posted to TikTok in August 2021.

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If you love Simone Biles like me, you've probably heard about the Twisties: losing track of where your body is in space. But why do the Twisties happen?

They can happen to anyone when there's a disconnect between what your brain expects to happen and what you actually experience. Like when a gymnast is learning to flip, they think about their movements using their prefrontal cortex to plan them.

After learning they know what it feels like. Planning isn't needed as much, so the prefrontal cortex isn't as active. The cerebellum now coordinates the reflexes based on what the gymnast feels and sees.

Big events like the Olympics can trigger the Twisties because athletes are thinking more about their movements. Engaging the prefrontal cortex can send opposing signals to the cerebellum, and disorient them in space. That's dangerous because an athlete can't catch themselves if they fall.

Our brains do so much that sometimes they get things twisted. Especially if you're a gymnast.