Neuroergonomic research dedicated to high-level sports

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The human factors research team has been selected by the High Performance Sport priority research program for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Augmented reality training aid interface

Sébastien Scannella and Vsevolod Peysakhovich, research engineers in human factors (HFs) and neuroergonomics, are participating in the Best Tennis project coordinated by the University of Rennes 2.

This project aims at optimizing performances for serve and return of serve strokes by female able-bodied and wheelchair players at the French Tennis Federation, in the form of a systemic approach capitalizing on biomechanical, clinical and cognitive data to be made available to coaches and athletes through dedicated tools. With 9 events on the program at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, tennis is a sport with great potential for medals.

The purpose of this priority research program (PPR) is to fund research work that can be applied to the preparation of French athletes. Nine public academic partners are involved in Best Tennis, including CNRS, CEA Paris-Saclay, ISAE-SUPAERO, CREPS, etc., and two companies, Tennis-Stat and Volodalen, for more than 1.3 million euros in overall funding.

This program demonstrates the research potential in the area of athletic performances and the capacity to develop joint research projects between sports federations and research teams.
Comprising 5 working groups, Best Tennis aims at producing solutions and tools for teaching as well as scientific knowledge that can be transferred to players and coaches to improve performances and training in tennis.

From pilots to tennis players

The research team at the Department of Aerospace Vehicle Design and Control (DCAS) at ISAE-SUPAERO will be working on individualized cognitive training for players to improve their performances in the most important strokes in the discipline – the serve and return of serve – notably in situations of stress and fatigue. They are seeking to use neuroscience tools to transfer their expertise in neuroergonomics to an applied field, from the usual study model – the airplane pilot – to another particular model – the tennis player. The research engineers will integrate psychophysiological markers such as heart rate and eye tracking into augmented reality to assess performances, or biofeedback.

They will do adaptive training with live feedback in augmented reality based on visual information gathering, heart rate and muscle activity to improve the return of serve in tennis. Best Tennis will enable the HF team to take on a post-doc for 2 years and to acquire 2 augmented reality systems and 2 new portable electrocardiograph systems. They have 36 months to increase the number of medals at the Paris 2024 Olympics thanks to virtual reality. The first set is scheduled for January 2021.

Photo : S.Scannella, V.Peysakhovich

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