Beyond Vision - It's more than what you see, it's how your brain processes information you see. In just 72 minutes of NeuroTracker training measurable gains with improvement in executive function, working memory, attention and processing speed were seen.
Helps prevent injury!
High pressure competitive play taxes the brain’s resources. When fatigue sets in, lapses in attention greatly increases critical errors and exposes athletes to the risks of injury. Studies show that NeuroTracker training boosts standardized measures of sustained attention – a mental resource for maintaining concentration and focus over time. With NeuroTracker training over time, cognitive stamina can be significantly increased to build up an athlete’s resilience to stay sharp and aware under pressure.
Outside of the potential for concussive injuries, risk of physical injuries is a concern for athletes, especially during times of heavy training loads and demanding schedules.
This is important outside of sports awareness in aging populations for slip and fall prevention. Cognitive awareness decreases the occurrence of injury.
If we tie it all together specific to performance in a team sport, we know that player decisions rely heavily on rapidly changing scenes, and players must be able to process and recognize situations in order to find out the most effective play among all conceivable choices within a short period of time.
This requires working memory, planning, reasoning, and creativity. Additionally, players will sometimes make a rapid decision to cancel an intended play and decide on a new play based on changing information and cues. This requires inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility and problem solving.
When we look at executive function in sport for example, a 2018 study investigated the requirement of executive functions for high performance soccer. The authors discussed the over emphasis on physical, technical, and tactical training historically in the attempt to develop elite performers. In a sport such as soccer, players are required to make decisions quickly and accurately in a dynamically changing environment, thus requiring executive functions. To further investigate this, executive functions were measured in a group of young soccer players aged 8-11 who were applying for admission to an elite youth program of a Japanese Football League club. The authors found that even though admission was determined by the soccer performance of the players, significant differences were observed between players who were approved and those who were not approved into the program. Those who had been approved had higher scores in executive function tests than those who were rejected. The authors noted the value of using an objective measure of executive functions when determining the performance levels of soccer players. This ties into the concept of profiling for talent with NeuroTracker and reinforces the importance of using an all encompassing approach to training performance.
When we think about higher order cognitive functions, executive functions refer to a family of top-down mental processes needed for concentrating and paying attention.
3 core executive functions:
From these, higher order executive functions are built such as reasoning, problem solving, and planning.
Inhibitory control: Is our ability to control:
Inhibitory control allows us to voluntarily ignore or inhibit attention to particular stimuli and attend to others based on our goal or intention. Consider having a conversation with someone in a busy room. Inhibitory control of our attention enables us to selectively attend, focusing on that one voice while suppressing attention to the other distractors in the room.
Working Memory is our capacity to temporarily store or manipulate information while engaging in other cognitively demanding activities.
Why is working memory so important for elite performance? Think about being in a high pressure situation, where you are being bombarded with visual information or auditory commands. According to a paper by Cowan (2005), the feeling of being overwhelmed by new information is due to the limitations of working memory. Our ability to process incoming information and hold it in mind to complete a series of commands is heavily reliant on our working memory capacity. This involves skill acquisition, choking under pressure, and imagery.
Think about an athlete remembering instructions from their coach during a time out in a championship game. Specific to NeuroTracker training, optimal performance necessitates that participants maintain the visuospatial positional information about the targets relevant in the face of ongoing processing and/or distraction.
Training on NeuroTracker allows you to repeatedly strengthen working memory capacity over the 20 trials, and number of sessions in a program.
Cognitive Flexibility builds on inhibitory control and working memory. One aspect of cognitive flexibility is being able to change perspectives spatially, or interpersonally. To change our perspective, we need to inhibit our previous thoughts about a decision, and activate into working memory a different one. Another aspect of cognitive flexibility involves changing how we think about something, or thinking outside the box.
Cognitive flexibility also involves being able to adjust to changing demands or priorities, to admit you were wrong, and to take advantage of sudden, unexpected opportunities. There is considerable overlap between cognitive flexibility, creativity, and task switching.
From these executive functions, higher order cognitive functions can be formed like reasoning and fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason, problem solve, see patterns or relations among items, and have logical reasoning.
Following training on NeuroTracker, individuals will be able to subjectively report the improvements they are experiencing in a diverse range of tasks that they engage in based on their lifestyle demands. For example, in the case of sports; processing speed, attention, working memory, and executive function abilities are all critical to situational awareness in the pressures of fast paced and dynamic team sports play.
Situational awareness is also a critical factor in decision-making, which also relies on response control and inhibition to avoid making overly impulsive decisions or for regulating emotions when stressed.
By using NeuroTracker training, we can improve the fundamental cognitive abilities for specific aspects of human performance, the relevance of which is also backed up by independent studies.
Strengthens fundamental cognitive abilities, including several forms of attention, working memory, processing speed, inhibition and response control.
The significance of these functions in our ability to engage in day to day activities can often be overlooked, but they are critical in essentially all mentally demanding domains of human performance. This includes the ability to think clearly, quickly, be alert and aware, and to respond to complex environments appropriately. This can be applied to high pressure situations in the military, or to an every day individual who encounters a new, fast-paced environment. At an all encompassing level, NeuroTracker training is also associated with increased neuroplasticity, which is relevant for improving outcomes in any learning or training process, and also for cognitive health and wellness.