Research Update: Cognitive Load & Endurance Exercise Performance

James McCarron, a PhD student from the Psychophysiology of Exercise and Sport Performance Research Group was the latest speaker in the Postgraduate Research Seminar Series in the School of Sport & Exercise Science. James’ research explores the relationship between pacing strategies in endurance exercise and the competing demands on brain processing from other cognitive loads. Participants in his studies were asked to complete endurance tasks under three conditions: no additional cognitive task, an ‘easy’ cognitive task, and a ‘complicated’ task (the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task). James presented his provisional findings – showing clear detrimental effects of a cognitive task on exercise performance, and vice versa – to an audience of staff, postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Cognitive woodway

One of the School’s first PhD students, James is well placed to reflect on the rapid increase in research activity:

“Since beginning my PhD in January 2011 I have seen substantial growth within the postgraduate research community in the School of Sport and Exercise Science. With the acquisition of new technology over the years in a number of the sub-disciplines within Sport Science, exciting research is emerging. There are now specific groups that aim to produce top-class research across wide-ranging areas. This is definitely a stimulating and optimistic place to be for the aspiring sports scientist.”

Postgraduate research students joining the School this academic year are Rachel Williams and Alice Carter (Health Advancement Research Team), Jodie Levick and Franky Mulloy (Biofeedback in Sport), Lizzie Stamp (Mental Toughness) and Paul Harsley (Psychophysiology of Exercise and Sport Performance).

More information on all of the School’s research groups can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *