Technology-supported mental training to improve performance in sport

Davide Crivelli, Michela Balconi, Giulia Fronda, Giulia Fronda, Irene Venturella

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno

Abstract

Background: Mental training has a long tradition as a supportive technique to foster mental strength and focus and to increase bodily- and self-awareness in sports. Nonetheless, such form of training often require notable engagement and regular practice to induce a relevant increase in athletes’ well-being and performances [1]. Supporting such traditional techniques with wearable neurofeedback devices might help reaching desired goals quicker and might make such training more accessible, in particular, to beginners [2, 3]. The study aimed at testing the effects of intensive integrated mental training with reference to focusing and cognitive control abilities in athletes, by combining mindfulness practice with real-time feedback from a brain-sensing device. Materials and Methods: Ten players took part in the study and underwent an intensive 14-day mental training intervention. The intervention included daily practice of focused meditation on breathing with the support of a wearable brain-sensing device, which provided practicers with real-time feedback on their focused vs. distracted mindset. Performance at attention and cognitive control tests as well as electrophysiological assessment data were compared pre- and post-intervention to test its effects. Results: Analysis showed that, after 14 consecutive days of technology-supported mental training, athletes improved their scores at a standardized test tapping on attention and cognitive control. Further, their automatic electrophysiological responses (N200 event-related potential) mirroring attention orientation toward target stimuli were heightened. Conclusions: First evidences suggest that, even after 14 days of activity, the intensive integrated training combining mindfulness practice and real-time feedback from a brain-sensing device might induce adaptive improvements of cognitive performance efficiency. References: 1. Rooks JD, Morrison AB, Goolsarran M, Rogers SL, Jha AP. “We Are Talking About Practice”: the Influence of Mindfulness vs. Relaxation Training on Athletes’ Attention and Well-Being over High-Demand Intervals. J Cogn Enhanc. 2017;1:141–153. doi:10.1007/s41465-017-0016-5. 2. Balconi M, Crivelli D. Wearable devices for self-enhancement and improvement of plasticity: effects on neurocognitive efficiency. In: Esposito A, Cordasco G, editors. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies: Dynamics of Signal Exchanges. Heidelberg: Springer. p. In Press. 3. Balconi M, Fronda G, Venturella I, Crivelli D. Conscious, pre-conscious and unconscious mechanisms in emotional behaviour. Some applications to the mindfulness approach with wearable devices. Appl Sci. 2017;7:1280.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of the "2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice"
Pagine176
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018
Evento2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice - Kavala
Durata: 28 giu 20181 lug 2018

Convegno

Convegno2nd Congress on Evidence Based Mental Health: from research to clinical practice
CittàKavala
Periodo28/6/181/7/18

Keywords

  • Mental training
  • Neurocognitive empowerment
  • Neurofeedback
  • Sport

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