Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Cognitive Science
Determine the effect of concentrated mental effort on physical performance levels.
The goals of this project are:
- To scientifically observe of the effect of brain activity on physical performance.
- To create an imaginative display.
- To what degree does mental exercise affect physical performance?
- How can we test the validity of this claim?
It's widely accepted that physical exercise promotes mental clarity and alertness. But is the reverse also true? This project involves a simple, well-controlled scientific experiment to test and identify the effect of rigorous mental exercise on physical performance levels.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
- A Wii Fit sports video game.
- Forty volunteers
- Carefully study the related literature (see bibliography below).
- Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
- Search and print out compelling images relevant to your topic.
- Take photos throughout the course of the experiment.
- Randomly divide the volunteers into two groups of equal size. Label them Group 1 and Group 2.
- Have all volunteers play a Wii sports game, and record each of their scores.
- Have the volunteers in Group 1 study the word list for 20 minutes, while the volunteers from group 2 wait separately for 20 minutes in a quiet room.
- Have Group 1 volunteers try to recall as many words as possible from the list.
- Have all volunteers play another round of the chosen Wii sports game.
- Carefully record all results.
- Analyze your data.
- Explain your findings in a detailed report.
- Include graphics, diagrams, and demonstrations in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Concentration (focused thought); Mind-Body connection; Sports Psychology
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind-body_connection (An overview of the Biopsychosocial medical model)
- http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportspsychology/a/centering.htm (Sports and mental focus)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!