Human Reaction Time

Today I saw an interesting show about the capabilities of human fighters skilled in their respective arts like boxing, Karate or Nin Jitsu.

One of the shown challenges was a test of reaction time. Here one of the fighters apparently managed to react consistently to a stimulus in about 0.18 secs. The Internet is full of games with which you can test your reaction. Here’s a small selection:

Depending on the game sometimes I manage to scratch the 0.18 mark, but usually I lie in the region of 0.2-0.3 seconds in reaction. Not bad you may say (However, my wife tends to be a tad quicker than me. Alas, she doesn’t want to learn how to play Half-Life. A waste of talent, I’d like to say…).

Even so, the test in the TV show involved reacting to four lights placed like the extremities of a human body. The fighter then had to kick just the place where the light showed. Considering that this involves a lot more hard wiring in the brain I find a reaction time below .2 secs rather impressive!