This is a short presentation on NeuroTracker, which is a new training technology for enhancing multiple object tracking in teamsports. This is done through perceptual-cognitive training.We will outline the company, introduce the product, and go through some of the applied training principles and direct benefits ofthis new approach.
CogniSens is a company that specializes in applying neurobiological science and technology tothe field of sports.The science behind NeuroTracker is driven by world-leading neuro-physicist Dr. Jocelyn Faubert,who is the Director of the ‘Visual Psychophysics and Perception Laboratory’, based at theUniversity of Montreal.NeuroTracker has emerged from combining the fields of neurophysics, VR tech, and sportsscience, as such this represents a truly innovative, yet scientifically grounded approach, totraining athletes.
• Acute stimulation Intensive • Instant concentration Effect • Attention Essential distribution • Multiple foci in Skill motionUsing NeuroTracker is relatively straight-forward, with most athletes fully engaged in the training within a minute’sinstruction. Essentially four spheres are targeted for tracking and then blend with another 4. These then move randomlythrough true 3D space, deflecting and crossing over each other. With correct identifications, the speed and difficultyincreases to each athlete’s threshold over 15 trials.Although simple to attempt, this is a complex cognitive process that activates significant mental resources. Training allowsathletes to both expand the amount of movement information they can absorb in the field and process that informationmore efficiently. This technique is completely safe and can only add to an athlete’s performance abilities.This skill is highly relevant to team sports which constantly overwhelm athletes with scenes of complex and dynamic motion.
In team-sports cognitive skills are central to a whole range of performance demands. This has been well founded in sportsscience literature with the contrasts between elite and sub-elite athletes being minimal physiologically but large mentally. Simultaneous demands across many mental skills easily overwhelm players, causing cognitive bottlenecks and limitingperformance.NeuroTracker’s 3D-multiple object tracking is a core perceptual skill and is highly trainable. Increased proficiency in this areacan free up processing resources for other mental skills.
By far the largest advantage of NeuroTracker is the pronounced effects of training. In terms of actual time spent trackingspheres, 1 hour produces an average improvement of over 50%. This has been confirmed scientifically both with the generalpopulation and with elite athletes in the field.Neuroplasticity is the reason these gains are attainable, as the brain is remarkably good at rewiring itself anatomically toadapt to intensive functional tasks. The phenomenon of ‘distributed learning’ means that small amounts of training spreadout over time increases these effects due to role of mental rest and sleep. Each NeuroTracker session lasts just 6mins.
A true sports science methodology can be applied perfectly with NeuroTracker training.Core perceptual skills are targeted for training in a way that is similar to doing squats to build up leg power forgeneric gains in sprinting, decelerating and jumping. Maximal stimulation is achieved by an intelligent staircaseprocedure that pushes an athlete just above and below their perceptual-cognitive threshold.The six minute sessions are highly practical and can even be integrated into circuit training routines with physical orneuromuscular exercise programmes.
NeuroTracker sessions take place in a CogniSens CAVE, in which up to5 five athletes can train at the same time. This light controlledstructure can be setup in a gym, with only a single power cablerequired outside of the cube. An 8ft wide true 3D environment iscreated with the latest technology in ultra-short range projection andwireless shutter glasses.
NeuroTracker is provided through a spectrum of 9 different sessions. •Standard programs use scientific measurement procedures useful for the assessment of cognitive agility and improvement rates. •Advanced programs layer additional perceptual tasks onto standard training, these relate generically to in-field tactical skills. •Team programs bring psychological dimensions into NeuroTracker testing, conditioning athletes cooperatively or under pressure competitively.
Large amounts of NeuroTracker data are generated from the 15 minitrials comprised within each session (60 player responses).Scores and progress rates are displayed automatically in graph format the end of each test, and all the details of results go straight into adatabase.Any or all data is available instantly to coaches through simple yetpowerful Motion Charts. These reveal deep trends quickly andintuitively in a range of displays.
T r i a l sThe results of NeuroTracker tests represent a vanguard for cognitive assessment of athletes, as the data provides a directindicator of perceptual-cognitive performance capabilities. This new form of intelligence on athletes can complementother assessments for a fuller understanding of each player’s overall skill-set. As an emerging sports technology,NeuroTracker is particularly valuable for recruitment testing as it provides an untapped area of performance assessment.
Enhanced Perception: NeuroTracker (3D-MOT) trains an athlete to absorb andprocess complex movement and distribute his attentional resources throughout thevisual field. The trained athlete will decrease his response time during play actionand increase time available to choose appropriate play options.Injury prevention: with enhanced perception, the athlete has a greater awareness ofhis environment and with quicker reaction can avoid collisions and accident-pronesituations, thereby reducing his risk of injury.Assessment & Profiling: Player profiling for overall player skillset analysis,recruitment testing, and “Game Shape” assessment.Concussion support: NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive training provides amedical role for supporting the assessment of concussions. Typically NeuroTrackerPerceptual Cognitive training ability will be drastically reduced under the effects ofmTBIs (mild traumatic brain injuries), which compromise critical high-level visualresources. Such tests present quantitative and unbiased evidence for indicatingwhen a player is back in game shape.Neuro-Physical Stamina: NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive training can also beperformed on an exercise bike in the CAVE. Results correlated with biofeedback datacan then reveal the extent of physiological fatigue on each athlete’s concentration,and may well provide a method for conditioning resistance.Rehab Support: injured athletes can get a great deal out of NeuroTrackerPerceptual Cognitive training, both through the Psychological boost of carrying onsome form of training and by maintaining their game shape accelerating their returnto play post injury recovery. As the training is non-physical and can be carried outintensively, it allows a player to return to competition with significantly increasedabilities, boosting confidence at a critical period. Athletes injured long-term andsuffering cognitive regression brought about through a sustained lack of gamestimulation can be identified by the system..