Enhancing Physical and Cognitive Performance
Colleges: CAS, COEd, CVM, EFSCOM, CON
A major societal challenge is how to optimize performance in any environment under environmental constraints and unique contexts. Areas of performance enhancement range from teacher effectiveness, student performance, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients’ ability to execute activities of daily living, reducing fall risk during pregnancy, elite athlete performance, or to indicators of disease progression in humans and animals. WSU research advances intervention development, application of new technologies to solve immediate and persistent problems, and basic research to answer foundational questions about performance enhancement. Our researchers work to optimize physical activity experiences, motivation for physical activity, and the psychological benefits of physical activity (Psychology of Physical Activity lab) to promote positive mental and physical health outcomes. The Kinesiology program houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive medical database on endurance athletes. Our researchers study brain networks that underlie cognition and movement (Cognitive Motor Neuroscience lab), produce translational work in cognitive dysfunction (Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience) and improve older adults functioning independently at home with high quality of life (Neuropsychology and Aging lab). An integrated group of laboratories (Learning and Performance Research Center-LPRC) focuses on solutions to applied and methodological problems in education ranging from learning mathematics to building computerized adaptive screening tests for students. This LPRC maintains one of only a handful of secure and certified laboratories in the US to work with secure large-scale databases. Impacts of LPRC research range from patented and licensed technology around disease management, drug candidates in phase 3 clinical trials, innovative assessment systems to address student risk and needs in schools, to stress management and performance of police officers and athletes.