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Elite athletes: Leaving clues to better learning for all students

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 10, 2017 at 7:57 AM

Young running man against digital media background.jpegIs it possible the neurofeedback tools elite athletes are using to lift their performance can also be used to improve learning for students? And not just for top of the class students, but for all students regardless of their current learning achievements?

You may have heard about educational neuroscience, the science of learning, but what about sports neuroscience?  What do you know about that?

Well, sports neuroscience uses brain science to investigate how to improve the performance of top professional athletes, where a very small improvement can help them stand out from the pack.  And they have discovered neurofeedback can make the difference between a gold medal or just missing it by the finest margin. 


A recent paper, “Making the Case for Mobile Cognition: EEG and Sports Performance” published in ScienceDirect, reviewed 112 published scientific papers relating to the use of neurofeedback in sports enhancement.

It states, “ significant benefits of neurofeedback training have been reported for elite athletes”.

Neurofeedback is a conditioning technique that teaches participants to modify their own brain activity, by enabling them to recognize specific mind/brain states associated with particular (i.e., desired) behavioural outcomes.

This type of training has been fostered by developments in mobile EEG (brain wave) technology which make it possible to monitor brain activity during sports performance. 

The mobile devices include wearable headsets, headbands or belts that incorporate electrodes to monitor the athlete’s mental and physical states.

Application for learning

Wearable headsets have already been teamed with attention enhancing software to provide neurofeedback training for learners.

Nervanix Insight software enables students to easily monitor their attention levels so they can learn better and more easily.  This neurofeedback tool:

  • alerts learners when they “zone out”
  • prompts them to re-focus the moment their attention drops
  • develops their attention skills by practice and training while they do their regular work (no separate exercises).

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Topics: Attention, Teaching, For Principals

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