Nov 4, 2008
By: Alvaro Fernandez
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.