Neuro-Link has a collaborative relationship with the Exercise and Neuroscience Research Group, University of Pretoria. Various Neuro-Agility Profile™ (NAP™) assessments for different age groups, form part of a battery of valid and reliable tests frequently used in the Limitless You Peak Performance Program (LYPPP) as part of their relentless quest to measure and improve physical and mental performance. This program also aims at strengthening brain-body balance by assessing and developing three core areas, namely brain performance, health-related fitness and skill-related fitness.
A study was conducted with 106 third year university students. The purpose of the study was to assess whether body – and brain (neuro-agility) training would impact the academic results of students in the higher education environment. The measurements were divided into three sub-categories, each comprising a battery of tests to assess the following: health-related fitness index; skill-related fitness index; and brain fitness index. As part of the brain fitness index, six drivers influencing brain performance, as measured by the NAP™ Student Performer brain profile assessment, were measured during a pre-assessment test in the beginning of the semester. Students were re-assessed on their brain performance after the three months LYPPP intervention training at the end of the semester.
The LYPPP follows an integrated mind-body approach. The program is designed specifically to reduce overall stress, improve cognitive performance and enhance wellness / performance. Each intervention session consisted of learning physical skills, advanced visual processing skills and skills to increase the ease, speed and flexibility with which people learn, think and process information. Students were required to log a minimum of fifty hours of neuro-agility, health and skill related fitness training.
- NAP™ post-intervention training assessments showed significant improvements in the following facets of brain performance:
- 11,3% improvement in brain agility (p<0.004*)
- 11,2% improvement in stress coping (p<0.007*)
- 6,95% improvement in sleep (p<0.0074*)
- 11,6% improvement in attitude/mindset (p<0.001*)
- 10,3% improvement in brain food (p<0.0035*)
- 8,38% improvement in reading skills (p<0.007*)
- 8,95% improvement in general learning skills (p<0.0025*)
- 9,52% improvement in concentration skills (p<0.0015*)
- 12,2% improvement in memory (p<0.004*)
- 10,3% improvement in brain food (p<0.004*)
- 12,9% improvement in note taking skills (p<0.0095*)
- 8,95% improvement in listening skills (p<0.007*)
- The students obtained a pass rate of 98,2%
- As this program is now implemented annually with all third-year students, the same intervention resulted in a 100% pass rate during the following year.
Cognitive flexibility is the underlying foundation for developing the most desired skills required to prosper in a VUCA world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Lifelong learning is not optional anymore, but mandatory, if people want to thrive and not just survive. This research study shows that neuro-agility and advanced visual processing skills has a significant impact on improving cognitive performance. Developing learning skills such as brain fitness, neuro-design flexibility, memory, concentration and reading skills will increase the learning competence needed for people to future proof themselves against disruptive change and increase their employability, competitiveness and performance. Optimizing the brain-based elements that increase the ease, speed and flexibility with which people learn, think and process information, is the foundation for developing the cognitive flexibility needed for people to flex mental muscle in a VUCA world.
*Research done by Postgraduate students of the Exercise and Neuroscience Group under supervision of Prof Peet du Toit