NFL Combine Adds NeuroTracker to Psych Evaluation

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Perceptual-Cognitive testing is making its debut at the NFL Combine this year, where NeuroTracker is being added to its Psychological Testing component to measure on-field mental processing skills.

NeuroTracker training lets players 'see the whole field'

NeuroTracker will be used at the 2012 NFL Combine to test the perceptual-cognitive ability, or mental quickness, of athletes. The technology, which is currently being used at the highest levels of professional and college football, both measures and trains the brain’s ability recognize and respond to threats and opportunities during competitive gameplay.

“The inclusion of NeuroTracker represents a big improvement over psych evaluations in previous years”, says Jean Castonguay, CEO of CogniSens Athletics, the company behind NeuroTracker, “we all know that there are types of intelligence the Wonderlic doesn’t measure. Scouts want to know if a player has good field vision and play anticipation. NeuroTracker gives an objective measure of those skills.”

Developed over 20 years by Dr. Jocelyn Faubert at the University of Montreal in Canada, NeuroTracker training involves multiple object tracking in an immersive 3D virtual reality environment that covers the entire field of view; the training conditions an athlete to absorb and process complex movement and distribute attentional resources throughout the visual field. Athletes who train with NeuroTracker improve their response time during gameplay and enhance their situational awareness.

Intensive multiple object tracking conditions high-level brain resources critical to performance in team sports. Studies show the principal benefit is performance enhancement, with elite athletes saying that the improved perception from training allows them to “see the whole field”.

NeuroTracker, a multi award-winning system, has been developed and validated over the past two years by CogniSens Athletics in collaboration with high-level professional teams, including English Premier League soccer and the University of Oregon football team. Athletes in the NFL, NCAA Division I football, NHL, EPL, international rugby and Olympic sports teams also train with NeuroTracker.

NeuroTracker training also produces useful profiling data, allowing coaches to monitor performance levels, and enabling scouts to target key prospects, identifying talent others may overlook.

“NeuroTracker is a genuine breakthrough,” says Dr. Len Zaichowsky, head of Sports Science at the Vancouver Canucks, “the results unlock a wealth of new performance data.”

The mental aspect of sports has been long appreciated. With the inclusion of NeuroTracker in the NFL Combine’s psych evaluation, evaluators are now making the critical distinction between IQ and ‘Football IQ’. The effectiveness with which an athlete can read and react to the game is perhaps the most important aspect of competition, potentially allowing an athlete to be at the right place at the right time to make that game-winning play. At this year’s NFL Combine, NeuroTracker will help coaches identify those players who really can “see the whole field.”

About CogniSens Athletics

Based in Montreal, Canada, CogniSens Athletics Inc. specializes in neurobiological science and technology dedicated to enhancing athletic performance and providing cognitive medical support for team-sport athletes. For more information on CogniSens Athletics and the NeuroTracker Perceptual Cognitive training system, please consult the following sites:

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Jean Castonguay