Webinar Review: The Neuroscience of Sport: Cognition in Sports Performance

Our trainees review webinars in their given fields and share abstracts to help colleagues outside their discipline make an informed choice about watching them. As our program bridges diverse disciplines, these abstracts are beneficial for our own group in helping one another gain key knowledge in each other’s fields. We are happy to share these here for anyone else who may find them helpful.

The Neuroscience of Sport: Cognition in Sports Performance

Louisa Nicola, Rob Bouw

February 25, 2022


William BakerAnalysis by William Baker:

This relatively brief webinar discusses the importance of neuroscience in the context of sports. Speakers Nicola and Bouw in particular examine the importance of cognition and its implications with respect to physical activity observed in sports. This webinar is valuable as it links fundamental neuroscience to an activity that is relevant for countless members of the public.

The speakers begin by briefly introducing the concept of cognition as it pertains to sports. They are particularly concerned with how the main components of cognition, namely attention, decision-making, and working memory, contribute to physical activity within sporting. They depict cognition as a multifaceted process consisting of several subdomains working in tandem in physical activity. The webinar then goes on to individually examine how attention specifically influences physical activity, and this is bolstered by the presentation of a representative example of an athlete performing various tasks. With this information, this webinar elucidates protocols for the future analysis of the phenomena discussed in the video.

As the webinar progresses, Nicola further addresses the concept of cognition by dissecting how working memory, as a component of executive function, permits the performance of complex physical activity. According to the speakers, working memory encompasses the temporary storage and manipulation of information, which is critical in sophisticated physical movements. With their supplementary video, they demonstrate this with an athlete in real time.

As an avid sports fan, I find this webinar particularly interesting due to the innumerable implications contained therein. This video conveys concepts surrounding cognition in an intuitive, easy to understand manner regarding a ubiquitous physical activity, thereby serving as a particularly informative experience.