HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was named NFL MVP on Saturday.
For the past three years, Ryan has been one of a select few athletes training with NeuroTracker, a Canadian-based visual training tool said to stimulate brain function to increase mental ability.
"Professional athletes today are so skilled and so fit, that what give them a differentiator or competitive edge is by being skilled mentally," says Jean Castonguay, chief executive officer of Cognisens and the man behind NeuroTracker. "It improves your attention and focus, it improves your working memory..."
Ryan has said he trains with it three times a week. Castonguay says Ryan has been a serious student of the science, making several trips to their Montreal office to pilot some of the training simulations.
"As Matt Ryan says, 'I have to deal with motion very quickly and I have to understand how these moving parts inter-relate with each other'," explains Castonguay about the appeal Ryan sees in the program.
The way NeuroTracker works is by having the user follow two or three of several identical items moving around a screen while wearing 3D glasses. Originally designed for the Manchester United athletes, Ryan is joined by Steph Curry and the U.S. Military as among the hundreds of professionals using NeuroTracker.
A consumer version, called NuTrain, is available online through a subscription. A free demonstration gives everyone the chance to see just how Ryan and others train their brain.
Castonguay explains the tool isn't just for athletes. "Like the traffic you have here in Houston, it's difficult to cross the street there's so much going on. So heightening your attention and focus is good for everybody," he claims.
There are plenty of skeptics over mind training tools. Brain game maker Luminosity was slapped with a 2 million dollar fine for false claims of preventing mental decline. That's why NeuroTracker has done 22 studies, and has 40 in the works, to see how useful such tools can become.
"Concussion for example, how does that diminish cognitive abilities?," asks Castonguay, imagining aloud the possible applications for NeuroTracker. He says they are currently studying use for the elderly and those with learning disabilities.
For a free demonstration of NuTrain, the consumer version of the software, visit www.nutrain.io
To read additional research on NeuroTracker, neurotracker.net/cognitive/