Brain-based interventions for improving performance

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


The brain is critical for human performance, cognitive performance, as well as physical performance. Tactical athletes face particularly unique challenges in delivering elite performance as the military setting generates a disproportionate number of highpressure situations where it is critical to manage physical and mental demands and produce optimal responses. Whilst uncovering the brain's links to performance still remains in its relative infancy, a number of insights provide promise that could augment or aid in the recovery of the brain's performance. Promising interventions span the domains of psychological, physical, dietary, training-based and technological areas. The effects of interventions such as caffeine have been understood for some time, working through competition with adenosine receptors known to depress activity in the brain. Indeed, adenosine has been linked to poor cognitive performance, as well as the pressure to sleep after prolonged waking periods. Related pathways may provide a rationale to maintain, or augment, brain performance by utilising dietary and pharmaceutical pathways in particular. A relatively poorly researched area however is the interplay between diet and the restorative properties of sleep, an avenue that may provide advantages that are relatively easy to achieve. In the growing area of stimulatory neuromodulation (e.g. electrical or magnetic field stimulation), potential exists to enhance learning effects, or even enhance attention during periods of sleep deprivation. With recent advances in the technical capacity to offer these interventions outside of the laboratory, their use in military settings have become near future opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017
EventInternational Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance 2017: Research priorities across the service members operational lifecycle - Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 20171 Dec 2017


ConferenceInternational Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance 2017
Abbreviated titleICSPP 2017


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