When faced with a new, difficult, and unexpected problem, we use our brain’s ability to consciously focus on a specific task and direct our thinking towards a goal-directed behaviour; known as executive functions
This area of research aims to evaluate the effect that serious gaming has on these executive functions using the latest technology and innovative tools, ranging from Tablet/ PC-Gaming to immersive environments such as virtual reality.
A secondary aim is to evaluate the influence of a new training environment called the ‘Helix Arena’, which allows for an individual to be fully immersed in a 360-degree environment. The effects of these training devices will be explored in both clinical and athletic populations.
This line of research aims to evaluate the differences between high- and low-level athletes in a variety of sports relative to their perceptual-cognitive abilities; with an emphasis on measuring executive functions.
Both cross sectional and longitudinal approaches have been employed to gain a further understanding on whether the cognitive abilities that athletes display are a result of being immersed in a high-performance environment for many years or whether these athletes are born with a natural cognitive advantage.
Athletes may be prone to the negative effects that mental fatigue has on their sporting performance, resulting in possible decreases in their technical and physical performance coupled with higher ratings of perceived effort feeling fatigued.
Smart data will be used to determine what performance criteria is required to achieve excellence in a football domain. These criteria will further be used as a framework to help scout for talented players and inform best practice to help support talented youth players with their long-term transition into professional athletes.
In many domains, how cohesive a team is may explain how successful they are at completing a specific task while maintaining the needs of their group members. Appropriately, a large amount of interest has been dedicated into understanding what unites a group of individuals and allows them to consistently and successfully complete tasks.
Talent development is not a one-size-fits all principle. Successful talent development programs rely on understanding each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and to continuously adjust their training accordingly.