Michael Cao | Developing a Neurocog. Program in Professional Baseball
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About This Project

In collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of 3 international researchers, we founded a neurocognitive research branch within a professional baseball team within the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball). In addition to business, logistic, and social challenges associated with the development of a research program, I lead the cultivation of the multi-sensory integration branch, consisting of 6 main foundational areas:


01 Power of Touch – as our emotions and memories are intricately connected to our sense of touch, this is an area to leverage somatosensory system training to enhance the control of emotional states throughout the ups the downs within a game.


02 Audibly Clutch – in high-leverage situations such as attempting to rally at the bottom of the 9th inning, it’s been speculated that attention is directed away from the auditory system to optimize focus… or is it? This area of research looks to establish a connection between auditory perception and the “clutch” gene.


03 Eye-tracking Takeover – as a highly visual sport, players are required to execute complex motor movements based on visual cues in less than 200 milliseconds. The adoption of various mobile eye tracking studies measure micro- eye movements and its subsequent influence on perception, and ultimately, in-game performance


04 Quiet Eye in Scouting – in teaming up with the scouting department, this initiative aimed to transform the current scouting and player development process by plugging in training and assessment methodologies focusing on the “quiet eye” phenomenon.


05 Player Experience Design – with a focus towards experience design, this initiative was centralized on understanding the current player experience – from a prospect to a pro. In dissecting the unique individual journeys of players at all ages and career trajectories, we gained deep insight into lived experiences which enabled the operations staff to better tailor scouting, training, and coaching techniques.


06 Augmented Reality and Hitting  – Might there be a way to help hitters judge the strike zone through augmented reality technology? Working with third-party vendors, this researched looked to tailor wearable/mobile technology to the needs of hitters when it comes to pitch perception.


Founding a neurocognitive research program within a professional baseball team

Neuroscience, Research, Sports