The six inches between your ears is arguably the most important piece of the human body; it can also be the most challenging to master. The brain is the motor control system for the athlete, controlling muscle and skeletal systems through rote and repetitive motions, which are learned and improved over time.
When looking to obtain a competitive advantage, it is crucial to look at the part of our body that requires the most energy to run. Falcon Pursuit monitors the motor control cortex during baseline training to discover the brain frequencies and cortex activity during sport specific movements. The ability to monitor these frequencies and correlate them with power output provides a baseline to be used analyzing the effect of competitive environments on the athlete.
Falcon Pursuit looks to scientifically correlate the effects of race day stresses, which may cloak or alter optimal performance activity patterns in the motor control cortex. Rather than say 'relax' in preparation for a key event, Falcon Pursuit can monitor the motor cortex and provide aural and visual stimulation to induce an optimal pattern baselined during training. Supporting optimal brain function yields better results for an athlete, just as an athlete would train their body they need to train their brain.
Most people think of brainpower as something other than fueling a mental engine.
Although the average adult human brain weighs about 1.4 kilograms, only 2 percent of total body weight, it demands 20 percent of our resting metabolic rate (RMR)—the total amount of energy our bodies expend in one very lazy day of no activity. RMR varies from person to person depending on age, gender, size and health. If we assume an average resting metabolic rate of 1,300 calories, then the brain consumes 260 of those calories just to keep things in order. That's 10.8 calories every hour or 0.18 calories each minute. (For comparison's sake, see Harvard's table of calories burned during different activities). With a little math, we can convert that number into a measure of power:
- Resting metabolic rate: 1300 kilocalories, or kcal, the kind used in nutrition
- 1,300 kcal over 24 hours = 54.16 kcal per hour = 15.04 gram calories per second
- 15.04 gram calories/sec = 62.93 joules/sec = about 63 watts
- 20 percent of 63 watts = 12.6 watts
Studies have shown that something similar happens when people exercise and play sports: a large component of physical exhaustion is in our heads. In related research, volunteers that cycled on an exercise bike following a 90-minute computerized test of sustained attention quit pedaling from exhaustion sooner than participants that watched emotionally neutral documentaries before exercising. Even if the attention test did not consume significantly more energy than watching movies, the volunteers reported feeling less energetic. That feeling was powerful enough to limit their physical performance.
Ferris Jabr – Scientific American July 2012
There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to improve an athlete’s performance, from an energy management point of view. What you think determines how much energy you burn. A more calm and neutral brain allows more energy to be applied to leg muscles and cardiac function. The brain is an energy hog. Therefore even a minimal reduction in brain activity has the potential for significant energy savings, particularly over longer durations.
There is seldom a direct cause and effect to brain assumptions. However, a critical correlation would be; less broad-spectrum frequency response and amplitude should indicate less energy consumed by the brain. The key is to monitor the athlete in multiple venues and activities and establish intelligent deltas [differences] to the frequency response data for each activity. Apply visual and aural stimuli while monitoring the brain’s broadband frequency response assures the athlete is in energy conservation mode leading up to critical competition.
Falcon Pursuit partners with the best. We place the best EEG neuron monitoring feedback hardware and electrodes into helmets and hats to provide lightweight portable brain monitoring. It all comes down to software – software and software. Here Falcon Pursuit combines industry leading brain waveform analysis software with our custom Dashboard to provide real time analytics with wireless telemetry connection to the coach and waveform storage for after the event analytics.
Think calm – go Fast and go Farther.