Cognisess Hosts Elite Athletes from Bath Rugby and Bath City FC

Adam Mann, Bath City forward, and Kahn Fotuali’i, Bath Rugby scrum half take part in Cognisess’ ‘Discover your Talent’ campaign.

The campaign is aimed at supporting people of all ages and backgrounds discover their talent and potential and ultimately find the right job, career or sport to play. This is not by using outdated or biased methods like academic results, IQ tests or CVs, but with neuroscience-based games and AI.

The software platform comprehensively analyses a person’s abilities including cognitive, emotional, behaviour, career values, personality and core skills. This holistic view provides a better insight into someone’s true talent and potential.

By playing games and activities and using some of the latest brain wave technology, the athletes created performance benchmarks which anyone can be compared to. Cognisess Sport are event sponsors of this year’s Bath Sports Awards and will be showcasing their technology at the event on Nov 20th.

As part of the campaign, Adam and Kahn played 3 short cognitive games measuring task switching abilities, risk taking and response inhibition. Both athletes were fitted with a neurofeedback device (or EEG headset) as they completed the activities.

Neurofeedback is used alongside Cognisess’ software games and measures a person’s brain waves,  giving coaches greater insight into what’s happening when someone completes a task. Used by athletes across all sports, the data provides optimised performance data and supports ongoing training and development.

Whilst Adam and Kahn played the assessments the Cognisess team tracked the brain’s performance measuring ‘psychological flow state’ – essentially this is how ‘in the zone’ someone is when doing something.

All sporting professionals get nervous and something known as the yips can impact performance. This is typically if an athlete thinks too much about the technique, instead of focusing on the activity.

Measuring psychological flow state allows a player the best chance in achieving their optimal performance. This powerful tool can be strategically used to discover a sport person’s potential.

Athletes – both amateur and professional use Cognisess Sport to:

  • Map aspects of performance – including cognition, emotion, personality and skills.
  • Map their emotional wellbeing – does mood inform performance? Cognisess worked with the next generation of elite racing drivers and discovered the link between self-esteem, speed and car performance.
  • Map team fit – this allows the coach to observe whether a player would fit into a team before signing.  

Cognisess are giving guests of the Bath Sports Awards and Bath Business Awards an opportunity to play the games on the night. Guests will be able to compare their scores to Adam and Kahn’s and other sporting heroes taking part.

The top 3 places on the leaderboard will win a prize. Cognisess is excited to be showcasing the technology to a wider audience as part of the ‘Discover Your Talent’ campaign.

To learn more about Cognisess Sport request a Demo or follow us on Twitter to keep updated with us.

Adopt These 3 Behaviours From Elite Athletes To Maximise Your Career Performance

From Usain Bolt to Venus Williams, professional athletes are transferring their skills into the business world. Their work ethic, determination and ability to work in a team are only some of the reasons they thrive. Stay ahead of the curve and adopt these three behaviours to achieve maximum performance.  

They believe they are the best

Muhammad Ali said “to be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.” At present Cognisess has analysed the attributes of 53,974 people. Each individual is particularly strong in at least one skill, however, they may have a negative perception of their skill set if they have a low score in emotional stability – this will negatively impact their work performance. If you believe you aren’t good enough you will feel inadequate compared to your colleagues, even if your abilities are similar or greater than theirs – this will stunt your growth.

Elite athletes who win competitions don’t focus on winning, as they fully believe they are the best and are going to succeed. They don’t consider winning a race as they know they are going to win it. Transferring this into a business context, don’t perform your job to get promoted, but perform it to the best of your ability. If you approach your career with the mentality that it will be successful you will thrive in the opportunities presented to you. Since you are approaching every task to the best of your ability, employers will notice you are a high performer. The best method to get ahead is by not worrying about it, keep up the high performance. Businesses using Cognisess Pro are able to track employees progress over time by retaking assessments. This tool could be used to identify these high performers long term.

They expect failure

It takes 10,000 hours to master a skill, so its inevitable failure will appear throughout the process. Failure can keep you motivated to achieve your goals. Athletes use it to drive them to success, a study found Olympic gold medalists considered their setbacks essential to their achievements.

Cognisess knows that the fear of failure can cause you to focus your attention on not failing – stopping you pursuing success. A successful athlete doesn’t care about failing, only performing to the best ability –  if they achieve this, they are satisfied whatever the result. Freeing themselves from failure means they can fully commit to their sporting activity. Constructing a psychology safe environment for your team, whilst instructing them to perform to the best of their abilities will minimise their fear of failure. You can then track their current and future performance with Cognisess Pro, allowing you to observe what occurs when your employees don’t fear failure.

They set goals that drive them

Through Cognisess Sport we have identified athletes are emotionally intelligent. Athletes are aware of the power feelings have on performance and employ positive self-talk. Positive self-talk is replacing a negative thought such as ‘I can’t meet this deadline – it’s impossible’ with a positive such as ‘although this is a tight deadline, I have the ability to do this’.

They are also achievement driven, setting goals to allow direction and focus. A study found establishing goals reduces anxiety and lowers the chances of overworking yourself. This is equally important in the world of sport and business. There are three types of goals in sports psychology – process goals, performance goals and outcome goals.

Type of goal

Definition

How can this be applied in a business context?

Process Goal

An athlete’s training targets. For example, go to the gym five times a week.

Reading a different white paper once a week to improve your understanding of your industry.

Performance Goal

A goal that tracks an athletes progress in the sport. For instance, gaining a certain amount of muscle in the desired time frame.

Aiming to exceed your sales target by 10% every day.

Outcome Goal

The long-term plans for an athlete’s career –  such as competing in the Olympics.

Become CEO of a company.

These three types of goals inform each other. They provide the building blocks for your career to flourish from (process goal), a consistent standard to increase your expertise (performance goal) and establish what your long-term ambition is (outcome goal). The absence of one will decrease your productivity long term.

In order to push yourself to full potential, you need to adopt positive behaviours. Cognisess can support and assess an individual’s journey to becoming a high performer. The journey maybe challenging, but like an elite athlete, you must stay dedicated in pursuit of your goal.

Contact us to schedule a demo and a two-week free trial of Cognisess Pro– the most advanced People Analytics and Assessment Platform on the market today.

 

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Cognisess High Performance brings in the medals this Autumn

Over the past 12 months Cognisess Sport has focused on several high profile projects under the guidance of High Performance Coach, Jon Pitts. Jon has implemented cutting-edge, human performance analysis and coaching using insight provided by the Cognisess Pro platform across two very different sporting worlds: 3 day eventing and the Women’s Cricket Super league.

Firstly, as a High Performance Coach, Jon was invited to help the Swedish Eventing team develop a performance culture in response to an underperforming 10th place at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Jon commented: “Cognisess Pro has given us valuable insight into how to train our riders to manage the intense pressure and assess the risks associated with the sport. This has helped them with making good, positive decisions and executing their skills with more confidence.”

The result of applying this insight and coaching was a team bronze medal at the recent European Championships, finishing just behind Great Britain and Germany and with much positive attention from the Swedish media.

With a unique and interdisciplinary approach working across all sports, Jon was also able to bring new angles to the use of Cognisess assessments and insights within team sports. Working with Western Storm, the Kia Super Women’s Cricket League franchise, Jon has used Cognisess Pro to assess and create a benchmarked standard as to ‘what good performance really looks like’ and use that to focus mental skills training and raise standards within the development squad.

“The impact is two-fold” said Jon: “in a short format T20 competition you need as much information about key players and how to make them peak in their performance, and it also allows us to identify those key cognitive skills that the stars of the future will need”

At the beginning of September this work came to fruition, as Western Storm were crowned champions of the Kia Super League by beating the Southern Vipers in the final.

Jon confirmed: “Cognisess Pro supports better decision-making and helps hone skills which are crucial when competing in the fine margins within a high performance environment. It is this precision analysis and insight which ultimately makes the difference when operating at the elite level of any sport or high-performance challenge,

Cognisess CEO, Chris Butt commented: “by working at the very rarefied, pinnacle of elite performance in sport, we really get a critical understanding about people and behaviours which we use to shape the Cognisess approach to performance at work and life skills in general”.

For more information on High Performance Consulting contact: support@cognisess.com

What can racing driver brain waves tell us?

Young racing driverAs part of our collaboration with Arden and the Young Racing Driver Academy, we’ve been analysing the brain waves of young elite drivers. We’ve already gathered some fascinating insights.

In the moving graph below we can see the four different brain waves – alpha, beta, gamma and delta – mapped along with speed and turn pressure. The graph shows us brain activity (y axis) over time (x axis), with speed and turn pressure overlaid.

The trace below is from a driver racing on a new track for the first time. Watch to see how the brain waves change over time as speed and turn pressure rise and fall as the driver goes around the track.

So what does this all mean?

Before you check out the video, here’s the neuroscience behind it:

  • Green = Delta brain waves

Delta waves show the underlying, unconscious activity of the brain. They are prominent while sleeping and meditating, and their activity is often triggered by feelings of compassion and strong emotion.

  • Blue = Alpha brain waves

Alpha waves demonstrate concentration for everyday tasks. They show heightened attention.

  • Orange = Beta brain waves

Beta waves show focussed attention on a particular task. They’re specific to focussing on one action, rather than paying attention to many tasks.

  • Yellow = Gamma brain waves

Gamma waves are linked to multitasking. They show different parts of the brain are working together, with activity switching quickly between different areas.

  • White = Speed

In this context, speed represents how fast the driver is going around the race track.

  • Grey = Turn pressure

Turn pressure is the pressure from the steering dampener. The higher the pressure, the harder the turn on the track.

Can you spot the patterns?

The activity of all brain waves often dips shortly before a gradual increase in speed. This would be explained by a brief period of rest following increased brain activity for a turn in the track. Watch the different brain wave patterns and see what predictions you can come up with.

These subtle patterns are just the beginning of our research. With increasing amounts of data, our Deep Learn™ machine learning engine will soon be able to make connections that allow us to predict driver behaviour and potential. For more information on our research with Arden, read Brain telemetry: Predicting the performance of elite drivers. And find out about the official launch of the study here: Cognisess at the Wearable Technology Show 2017.

Cognisess at the Wearable Technology Show 2017

This month Cognisess attended the Wearable Technology Show in London to showcase its EEG racing helmet that’s taking predictive people analytics onto the racing track.

Ayrton WTS2017Young elite driver Ayrton Simmons attended to demo the world first technology, alongside Cognisess CEO Chris Butt, Chief Scientific Officer Dr Boris Altemeyer and Research Associate Gerry Taulo. Boris took to the stage to talk about the ground breaking research, sharing insights on machine learning and predictive people analytics in elite sport with an engaged crowd.

A high profile event

The Wearable Technology Show is the largest event for wearables, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things and connected technology. With over 200 speakers and 75 hours of talks and panel discussions, Cognisess was among those at the forefront of wearable technology.

Chris Butt, Cognisess CEO, said: “WTS 2017 was a great success for Cognisess. We had considerable interest in the launch of the world’s first racing helmet/EEG combination. Ayrton Simmons, part of the Young Racing Driver Academy and tipped to be a future F1 driver, joined us throughout and demonstrated the power of the brain telemetry. We look forward to rolling this technology out more widely.”

Ayrton Simmons

World first innovation and collaboration

Ayrton Simmons, young driver with the Young Racing Driver Academy, said: “The show was really interesting, amazing to see how the technology is evolving! It was also a good media training occasion for me, with various filming and interviews for different channels.

“I think Cognisess’ work is very valuable – anything that could help improve racing drivers’ performance is definitely worth being taken seriously. I feel privileged to be part of the development and the first one in the world to try it.”

Dr Boris Altemeyer, Chief Scientific Officer at Cognisess, said: “The event, both as a show and the panel stream, exceeded our already high expectations. It is great to see that the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in this sector is stronger than ever, generating a lot of interest in our projects and solutions.

“We made great contacts who share the scientific and open minded approach that we base our work on, and are very much looking forward to exploring new collaborations in the coming weeks. The panel was great, and João, who facilitated it, was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and hope it was useful to the people attending it.”

Ayrton Simmons 2

Taking brain telemetry to the masses

The EEG racing helmet allows live streaming of a driver’s brain waves to the pit crew. This real time information on driver state of mind and level of concentration is highly important, affecting performance on the track. Combined with Cognisess Deep Learn™, patterns of processing not in line with the driver’s best performance on the track can be spotted, predicting – and alerting drivers to – potential cognitive pitfalls.

Take a look at our WTS 2017 gallery for more photos from the two-day event, and read more about the launch of our cutting edge research with the Young Racing Driver Academy, Brain telemetry: Predicting performance of elite drivers.

For more information on Cognisess Deep Learn™ and our work in elite sport, contact media@cognisess.com.

 

Brain telemetry: Predicting performance of elite drivers

Cognisess is embarking on ground breaking research with future Formula One stars as part of its mission to reveal the talent and potential of young people. Working with Muse and the Young Racing Driver Academy (YRDA), and combining neuroscience with state of the art technology and big data, Cognisess hopes to uncover the predictors of elite performance.

A world first combination

Cognisess, in collaboration with the Muse designers Interaxon in Canada, has developed the world’s first racing helmet / EEG combination. This allows live streaming of the drivers’ brain waves to the pit crew, which is likely to include psychologists in the future.

Knowing the state of mind of a driver is highly important. It not only affects performance on the track (in terms of lap times and potential risks of accidents), but also how their style of driving wears out materials such as the tyres, suspension, and engine components.

Training the next Lewis Hamilton – one neuron at a time, in real-time

Cognisess is piloting this ground breaking research with the YRDA at Arden to introduce what can be described as ‘brain telemetry’. Using the Muse EEG headset technology, Cognisess has fitted custom built ultra-slim EEG technology into a full-face race helmet, to give real time information on the driver’s state of mind and level of concentration.

Arden will use this technology to complement their driver training programme. This programme has already seen the introduction of live-stream EEG technology in simulator environments and the full integration of the Cognisess platform to monitor performance.

Deep Learn™ in your helmet

Ayrton SimmonsUsing Cognisess’ proprietary Deep Learn™ machine learning system, along with the combination of car telematics, cognitive performance measures from the Cognisess platform, and the ‘brain telemetry’ now being piloted, Cognisess is pioneering a new stage of fully integrated performance measurement and enhancement for elite athletes.

The brain waves transmitted in real-time to the pit crew and race team can be used with Cognisess Deep Learn™ to spot patterns of processing that are not in line with the drivers’ best performance on the given track. They can even highlight changes in mood. This will be highly important in alerting the driver to when an event on the track may have triggered an aggressive decision making strategy. Emotional responses have been known in the past to cause drivers to misjudge risks and even result in crashes.

Predicting driver behaviour before it occurs

Many different technologies have come from Formula One racing, designed to make racing safer and drivers and cars faster. However, these technologies are mostly based around an ‘after the event’ approach, reactive to behaviour. Starting at the very source of human behaviour – the brain – our technology, based on predictive people analytics, has the potential to impact driver behaviour even before it occurs.

Cognisess’ Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Boris Altemeyer, said: “This brings cutting edge technology into a environment where elite performers can make use of data feedback with a level of detail that has never been possible before. Bringing together Deep Learn™ machine learning, cognitive performance assessments, and real time monitoring in the actual performance setting will allow us to help athletes push the performance benchmarks and reduce risks drastically. I can’t wait for Psychologists being standard members of the race teams.”

Jon Pitts, High Performance coach to elite athletes, commented: “This project represents a new angle on elite sport focusing on the brain as the central driver of performance. It is only possible through the combined cutting edge technology of motor racing and the Cognisess platform, and we can now measure the brain in action and compare this to the telematics data coming from the simulators and cars. Overall it allows us to optimise the learning, skill development and performance of our YRDA and Arden young drivers.

“Today’s F1 cars are doing things almost instantaneously and the driver’s brains are under extreme pressure to process this information. In light of next season’s technical changes intended to make the cars even faster the potential to optimise brain function could be the new advantage in the sport”

For more information on our work in elite sport, contact support@cognisess.com.

To read more about Muse EEG headset technology visit the Muse website, and to find out more about Arden and the Young Racing Driver Academy, visit Arden Motorsport and the YRDA site.