Over time, I’ve covered various cognitive training programs, some explicitly tailored for athletes, while others cater to a broader audience. Neurotracker emerges as a unique tool, particularly designed to enhance the brain’s visual processing capabilities.Read more: Neurotracker: Boosting Cognitive Performance in Athletes and Beyond
Origin and Purpose
Developed in Canada by Professor and Neurophysiologist Jocelyn Fabert, Neurotracker aims to measure and train the brain’s processing potential. High-level athletes constantly juggle vast amounts of information, from opponents’ moves and teammates’ positions to the sheer pressure of the game. By integrating Neurotracker into their routine, athletes often find the gameplay appears ‘slower’ during intense moments. Consequently, this clarity enables them to make more informed decisions, a claim supported by the Neurotracker website.
How Does Neurotracker Work?
Refer to the video above for a live demonstration. In brief, a participant stands in front of a TV screen wearing 3D glasses. The screen displays several yellow spheres, two of which illuminate briefly. The participant’s task is to track these two spheres while also focusing on a central green dot. As the spheres shuffle around, once they halt, the participant needs to identify the previously highlighted spheres. Success means the next round gets tougher. Each session spans 6 minutes, constantly adapting to push the brain’s limits. Moreover, athletes can combine these exercises with sport-specific drills for a holistic training approach.
The Versatility of Dual Task Training
As evident in the video, Neurotracker seamlessly integrates with sport-specific exercises. For instance, an ice hockey player was seen practicing standard stick movements. The principle here is Dual Task training, a fusion of motor tasks like dribbling in football and cognitive tasks like ‘information processing’, ‘spatial awareness’, and ‘decision speed’. The crux is to execute these tasks simultaneously, such as juggling a ball while reciting multiplication tables. Neurotracker mandates this dual focus – concentrating on the spheres (cognitive) while also engaging in a foundational sports technique.
Neurotracker’s scope isn’t confined to elite sports. Military personnel and pilots can harness it to sharpen focus, reaction speed, awareness, and concentration. Remarkably, the program also aids in alleviating post-traumatic stress, ADHD impacts, and dyslexia symptoms. While I haven’t personally experienced this cognitive tool, the overwhelming positive reviews suggest its potential, especially for athletes. Another perk? Abundant research backs Neurotracker. I’ll delve deeper into these studies in a future blog post.