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IntelliGym cognitive simulation for Ice Hockey players

Very inter­est­ing new mar­ket devel­op­ment:

The Marker, Israel - Oct 28, 2008, Sharp­Brains,

In other words, Applied Cog­ni­tive Engi­neer­ing (ACE) and USA Hockey have part­nered to bring to mar­ket a cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tion game to improve the per­for­mance of ice hockey play­ers — sim­i­lar to what  ACE has been offer­ing to pro­fes­sional and ama­teur bas­ket­ball players.

ACE has raised $2.5M, and ACE and USA Hockey have received a joint $800k devel­op­ment grant from the BIRD Foun­da­tion for the co-development of a train­ing sys­tem for Ice Hockey play­ers. (The arti­cle men­tions Sharp­Brains’ Mar­ket Report as a sign of how the mar­ket is grow­ing, since we cover ACE).

For more con­text on cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tions, you will enjoy this Inter­view with Prof. Daniel Gopher:

Alvaro Fer­nan­dez: Tell us a bit about your over­all research interests.

Daniel Gopher: My main inter­est has been how to expand the lim­its of human atten­tion, infor­ma­tion pro­cess­ing and response capa­bil­i­ties which are crit­i­cal in com­plex, real-time decision-making, high-demand tasks such as fly­ing a mil­i­tary jet or play­ing pro­fes­sional bas­ket­ball. Using a ten­nis anal­ogy, my goal has been, and is, how to help develop many “Wimbledon-like cham­pi­ons. Each with their own styles, but per­form­ing to their max­i­mum capac­ity to suc­ceed in their environments.

What research over the last 15–20 years has shown is that cog­ni­tion, or what we call think­ing and per­for­mance, is really a set of skills that we can train sys­tem­at­i­cally. And that computer-based cog­ni­tive train­ers or “cog­ni­tive sim­u­la­tions” are the most effec­tive and effi­cient way to do so.

This is an impor­tant point, so let me empha­size it. What we have dis­cov­ered is that a key fac­tor for an effec­tive trans­fer from train­ing envi­ron­ment to real­ity is that the train­ing pro­gram ensures “Cog­ni­tive Fidelity”, this is, it should faith­fully rep­re­sent the men­tal demands that hap­pen in the real world. Tra­di­tional approaches focus instead on phys­i­cal fidelity, which may seem more intu­itive, but less effec­tive and harder to achieve. They are also less effi­cient, given costs involved in cre­at­ing expen­sive phys­i­cal sim­u­la­tors that faith­fully repli­cate, let’s say, a whole mil­i­tary heli­copter or just a sig­nif­i­cant part of it.

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