Part of the show How does the Brain Generate Consciousness, Prof. Susan Greenfield
As the everyone goes footie mad for the world cup, researchers at the University of Greenwich have been using a computer to analyse video clips of footballers taking penalties. They found that football players subconsciously give out physical clues about which way they are going to kick the ball. This of course gives the goalie a chance to anticipate the direction of a forthcoming penalty shot. So what's the secret? According to the Greenwich team, it's all in the angle of the shoulders! When a right-footed striker shoots to the left, his left shoulder dips further towards the ground, than when he shoots to the middle or to the right. His standing leg will also lean further to the left than for a shot in the opposite direction. Similarly when the shot is going to the strikers right, the left shoulder dips and the left leg leans out, but the angles are smaller. A detective playing goal-keeper can read these signals to plan his save!