Shayne Vial is a PhD candidate (Edith Cowan University) and Biomechanist (Queensland Academy of Sport). Currently investigating the effect of acute fatigue on sprint technique in high-level soccer players and whether there is an association with muscle-tendon unit length of the hamstring muscles.
Maria J. Ayoub is a third year PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Sciences program at Boston University. She conducts her research in the BU Motor Development Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Simone V. Gill. Her work utilizes a balanced Ecological Psychology/Neurocentric approach, and her interests are rooted in motor development and performance, both across the lifespan and within the context of neurodevelopmental disorders. Her current research analyzes the interactions between motor performance and cognition among neurotypical children, autistic children*, and adults with severe mental illness. For her dissertation work, Maria will utilize functional near-infrared spectroscopy to examine differences in cognitive-motor performance between neurotypical and autistic children* during dual-task walking. Outside of the lab, Maria enjoys pursuing volunteer work with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and serves as a committee member on the Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.
Prior to pursuing a PhD, Maria received her B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2018. She spent her undergraduate years as a research assistant in the UMD Cognitive Motor Neuroscience Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Rodolphe J. Gentili.
Amand L. Hardiman is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Utah State University (USU). His research interests focus on: (a) the sense of belonging of minoritized students in sport and higher education, (b) student-athlete identity, (c) organizational effectiveness, and (d) leadership development. He devotes time to diversity, equity, and inclusion work as a founding member of the Graduate Students of Color Association (GSCA) and serving on several diversity committees at both the department and university level. Before pursuing his doctoral studies at USU, Amand obtained his Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and Bachelor of Science in Sport Management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Alongside his academic endeavors, Amand has experience in basketball coaching (i.e., high school and college) and is now the founder and executive director of LearnYou Academy, which focuses on skill development, identity development and academic enrichment in youth sport. He is a children’s book author, co-authoring Adam: A story about roots, racism, and friendship and is an aspiring motivational speaker.
Another monthly addition of my articles of the month! These articles cover sports-related concussion, repetitive head impacts, ACL injury risk, and the relationship between cognition and neuromotor performance.
Summary: Large prospective study of nearly 5,000 athletes that determined musculoskeletal injury rate was 87% greater in athletes who reported a prior sports-related concussion (SRC) within the previous 12 months. Interesting, this relationship was only present in non-contact, acute musculoskeletal injuries after SRC.
Summary: Individuals with a history of ACLR and matched controls completed neurocognitive testing, a lower extremity proprioception assessment, measures of dynamic lower extremity control, and neuroimaging. Increased visual cognition was associated with better proprioception and decreased time to stability during the jump-landing. Visual cognition was also associated with increased activation in brain regions related to sensory processing and motor control.
Summary: Knee biomechanics have been heavily studied as it relates to noncontact knee injuries in athletes. In this review, knee kinematics and kinetics were not associated with injury. This may be due to biomechanical assessments often ignoring any sort of cognitive constraint (e.g, temporal, space, obstacles) that is commonly seen in a sporting environment.
Summary: This was the first investigation to examine the relationship between repetitive head impacts and cervical spinal cord white matter integrity. White matter tracts associated with balance and postural control were most negatively affected following one season of football. Subsequent studies following concussive events may provide greater insight into the neural underpinnings of greater risk for lower extremity injury post-SRC.
Summary: A seminal paper defining various constructs of sports injury occurrence, data analysis, and injury risk factors and prevention. Recommended reading for anyone involved in sports injury research and clinical practice.
Laura is a PhD Candidate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. She is interested in programming, reproducibility, and open science practices. Her dissertation focuses on the effects of interactions on motor learning and retention, and her MSc thesis from the University of Ottawa investigated observational learning. Laura loves to talk about statistics and research methods and thinks that working with R is super fun!
Rob Mason is a recent graduate from the University of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia). His PhD thesis focused on coach-athlete verbal feedback, with a focus on elite-level team sports. He is particularly interested in the reception of feedback by athletes, and the way that feedback changes based on the context in which it is given. He also works as a coach developer with an Australian Football League team, where he provides support to coaches around their use of feedback and teaching strategies.
Summary: While there have been previous lower extremity injury surveillance datasets conducted in a variety of athletes post-concussion, this article was the first to demonstrate a specific relationship between concussion and ACL injury. Those with a concussion history in the previous 3 years were 1.6x more likely to sustain and ACL injury compared to controls. About half of the total cases examined in this study were due to sport.
Summary: Injury prediction is the holy grail of sports science. This article provides a nice overview of why current injury prediction methods are flawed (namely due to cross-sectional nature of screening) and provides opportunities to improve our models.
Summary: This article reviews biomechanical and physiological adaptations that occur after ACL injury and offers integrated strategies to restore motor control post-ACLR. Commentary is provided through perspectives including neuroscience, biomechanics, motor control/learning, and psychology.
Summary: One of the first articles to demonstrate the influence of neurocognition on musculoskeletal injury. Collegiate athletes who sustained a noncontact ACL injury performed worse on assessments of reaction time, working memory, and processing speed compared to matched controls.
Summary: This paper offers possible neuromuscular explanations for increased risk of musculoskeletal injury after concussion. Neuromuscular control post-concussion may be better understood by utilizing dynamic tasks during clinical rehabilitation, including gait and/or sport-specific scenarios.