Research is a priority area at the Centre for Sports Science & Human Performance. The centre promotes and values both individual and multi-disciplinary or collaborative research.
Our staff have a wide range of research interests which helps position the centre as a valuable partner in multi-disciplinary research projects. The centre aligns its research interests and activities under a number of specialist institutes and units, which are supported by different companies, institutions and organisations.
Expert Cognition and Training Decision Making under Pressure
This research has two primary objectives. The first is to identify the cognitive and situational factors responsible for superior performance in complex and stressful domains. We have examined skilled performance in both simulated and naturalistic environments, and using process-tracing methods and cognitive task analysis techniques (such as interviews, verbal reports, of thinking, eye-movement recordings), identified effective cognitive strategies and mechanisms that explain how experts make predictions about the immediate future state of the current situation and make effective decisions, especially under pressure. The second objective extends the first by translating the data obtained from experts into design principles that could improve the performance of future experts. Research has focused on representing the knowledge structure of experts in an informal model, and using this model as a basis for designing instructional material and decision aids to effect positive changes in performance. These objectives are being addressed in a range of professional and work-related domains, such as sport, law enforcement, military and healthcare. This research has been funded, for example, by the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Soccer Federation, and the U.S. Officer of Naval Research. Key CSSHP staff include Professor Paul Ward.
Selected exemplar publications and grants include:
Ward, P., Suss, J., Eccles, D. W., Williams, A. M., and Harris, K. R. (2011) Skill-based differences in option generation in a complex task: A verbal protocol analysis. Cognitive Processing: International Quarterly of Cognitive Science, 12, pp. 289-300. DOI: 10.1007/s10339-011-0397
Ward, P., Ericsson, K. A., and Williams, A. M. (2013) Complex perceptual-cognitive expertise in a simulated task environment. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 7, pp.231-254. DOI:10.1177/1555343412461254
Ward, P. (PI), Suss, J. (co-PI) (2011). Using a prediction and option generation paradigm to understand and improve decision making. Funding agency: U.S. National Science Foundation (SES-1123577). Amount awarded: US $13,920 / 1 year. Status: Funded.
Nutritional Supplementation, Exercise and Training
The primary objectives of this research are to analyse the effects of multi-ingredient supplements on the performance, training and recovery, and to attenuate possible muscular damage and immunosuppression when performing strength, power, or intermittent endurance exercises. In order to achieve these objectives, this research has examined the effects of combining a 12-week resistance training programme with the ingestion of a carbohydrate-protein-creatine-based supplement on strength performance and body composition in recreationally trained men. In addition, we have examined the acute effects of a carbohydrate and caffeine gel on intermittent sprint performance in recreationally trained males. Current research is designed to examine the acute effects of a multi-ingredient recovery formula on the recovery process and muscle damage after performing a bout of intermittent sprint exercise. This research project is currently funded by GlaxoSmithKline UK Limited (formerly Maxinutrition Ltd) and provides financial support for a three-year PhD student. Key CSSHP staff include Dr. Fernando Naclerio, Dr. Mark Goss-Sampson, and Robert Cooper (PhD Student).
Selected exemplar publications and grants include:
Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Larumbe-Zabala, E., Chassin, C., Allgrove, A. & Jimenez, A. (2013). Effects of a carbohydrate-protein-creatine supplement on strength performance and body composition in recreationally resistance Trained Young Men. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 16 pp.72-85.
Cooper, R., Naclerio, F., Allgrove, J., and Larumbe-Zabala, E. (2013) Effects of a carbohydrate and caffeine gel on intermittent sprint performance in recreationally trained males. European Journal of Sport Sciences DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2013.813972
Naclerio. F (PI), Cooper, R., and Baddeley, D. (co-investigators) (2013) Analysis of the multi-ingredients formula for optimizing performance, training outcomes and recovery process in athletes and the general population. Funding agency: GlaxoSmithKline-Maxinutrition. Amount awarded: £61,150 / 3 years. Status: Funded.
Critical Power in Cycling
Critical Power is a valid marker of endurance capacity but can also be used as a means to differentiate between heavy and severe training intensities. To-date critical power testing has been restricted to the laboratory, limiting external validity, and has required testing to take place over multiple days. This research has two primary goals: (i) To develop methods to test critical power that minimize interruption to training and testing schedules of cyclists compared to conventional testing protocol; and (ii) to explore the generalizability of these methods to testing critical power in the field. Key CSSHP staff include Bettina Karsten. External collaborators include Dr. Chris Beedie (Aberyswyth University), Dr. Simon Jobson (University of Winchester) and Dr James Hopker (University of Kent).
Selected exemplar publications:
Karsten, B., Jobson, S.A., Hopker, J., Passfield, L., and Beedie, C. (2013) The 3-min test does not provide a valid measure of critical power using the SRM isokinetic mode. International Journal of Sports Medicine, DOI:10.1055/s-0033-1349093
Karsten, B., Jobson, S.A., Hopker, J., Jimenez, A., and Beedie C. (2013) High agreement between laboratory and field estimates of critical power in cycling. International Journal of Sports Medicine, DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1349844.
Research is looking at analysing the relationship between the perceptual responses with the level of muscular activation, the magnitude of the load, and the variation in the velocity and power experienced along a set to failure using different percentage of 1 RM (30 to 90%) while performing different resistance training exercise.
The establishment of specific perceptual values based on valid tools such as the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 0-10 OMNI-RES scale for selecting the load and controlling the velocity of movement when performing different upper and lower body resistance exercises would be a very profitable approach for designing resistance training programmes and obtaining the desired outcomes.
Control of Resistance Training Intensity by the OMNI Perceived Exertion Scale. Fernando Naclerio, Gabriel Rodriguez-Romo, Maria I. Barriopedro-Moro, Alfonso Jimenez, Brent A. Alvar, and Travis N. Triplett. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2011 Jul;25(7):1879-88
Biomechanical and Physiological Effects of Whole Body Vibration
The use of whole body vibration (WBV) as a novel exercise modality continues to grow in popularity with both exercise practitioners and the scientific community. Recent studies have established the benefits of WBV for improvement of muscle strength and power. However, some of the fundamental biomechanical and physiological changes have still not been fully investigated to explain the underlying mechanisms of these changes. Our current research is examining the effects of different vibration modalities on parameters such as movement, muscular performance, local / muscle blood flow and muscle activation. Key staff and collaborators include Dr Mark Goss-Sampson, Dr Mark Colpus, Mark Chapman and Dr Dan Robbins.
Selected exemplar publications
Robbins, D. and Goss-Sampson, M.A. (2013). Effect of whole body vibration during static squats on myoelectric properties of the vastus lateralis. International Journal of Sports Science. 3, pp.135-140.
Robbins, D. and Goss-Sampson, M.A. (2013). The influence of whole body vibration on the plantarflexors during heel raise exercise. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 23, pp. 614-618.
Robbins, D., Zeinstra, E., Jimenez, A. and Goss-Sampson, M.A. (2012) Does Whole Body Vibration have Clinically Significant Neurophysiological and Neurovascular Implications? International Journal of Prevention and Treatment. 1, pp. 18-26.
Robbins, D., Elwell, C., Jimenez, A. and Goss-Sampson, MA. (2012) Localised Muscle Tissue Oxygenation during Dynamic Exercise with Whole Body Vibration. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 11, pp. 346-351.
Analysis of Human Performance
Accurate analysis of human movement is important for the understanding of sports performance, work-based ergonomics, injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes. The main objectives of our research is to analyse the causes and consequences of complex motion using synchronous ‘state of the art’ high speed 3D motion analysis, muscle activation patterns and forces. This information can be used to monitor skill development, assess activities of daily life, and provide feedback to sports people, coaches, physiotherapists and rehabilitation specialists. Diverse examples of recent projects include the analysis of golf driving and putting in professional and novice players, activity ability in the aged, and the assessment of body armour ergonomics (Metropolitan Police Service consultancy). Key staff and collaborators include Dr Mark Goss-Sampson, Dr Mark Colpus Dr Fernando Naclerio and Mark Chapman.
Selected exemplar publications
Naclerio, F., Larumbe, E., Faigenbaum, A. D., Goss-Sampson, M., Perez-Bilbao, T., Jimenez, A., and Beedie, C. (2013). Effects of a low volume injury prevention programme on the hamstring torque angle relationship. Research in Sports Medicine. 21, pp. 253-263.
Delextrat, A. and Goss-Sampson, M.A. (2010) Kinematic analysis of netball goal shooting: a comparison between junior and senior players. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28, pp. 1299-1307.
Bassement, M., Garnier, C., Goss-Sampson, M.A., Watelain, W. and Lepoutre, F-X. (2010) Using EMGs and kinematics data to study the take-off technique of experts and novices for a pole vaulting short run-up educational exercise. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 13 pp. 554-558
Smith, P.M., Chapman, M.L., Hazlehurst, K.E. and Goss-Sampson, M.A. (2008) The influence of crank pattern on muscle activity and torque production during arm crank ergometery. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 18 pp. 598-605.