Research

European Research Council Projects

Temporal Enhancement of Motor Performance Using Sensory Guides

Professor Cathy Craig

Professor Cathy Craig
Professor of Perception & Action Psychology
Director of Queen’s Movement Innovation Lab

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The TEMPUS_G Project uses 21c tech to capture details of brain and movement interaction, helping science to better comprehend the links between hearing, seeing and doing.

Its key successes are a direct result of ERC funding.


"ERC grants leave researchers free to get on with their work – to focus. Freedom to operate within the ERC allowed research to go in a new direction.” Professor Cathy Craig


Understanding Interaction Between Perception and Action 

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The TEMPUS-G Project uses state-of-the-art motion-capture technology to present different types of perceptual stimuli including Infrared Motion Capture, Immersive Interactive Virtual Reality and movement-based game controllers to record movement in response to virtual stimuli in Interactive Movement Games.

It operates from the Movement Innovation Lab , a cutting-edge 21c facility within Queen's University.

A Life in Motion: Professor Cathy Craig 

As a psychologist, Professor Cathy Craig is interested in behaviour and the study of movement, with life-changing and wide-ranging applications in everyday life.  

These applications range from aiding people with impaired movement, to helping elite athletes be more successful.

ERC: A Very Special Freedom   

Professor Cathy Craig is Principle Investigator (PI) for the TEMPUS_G Project. Her ERC funding started in 2008 and allowed her to pursue paths in the context of brain and movement, making discoveries that otherwise may not have been made.

"ERC funding offers a very special type of freedom. The ERC is all about ideas. It’s about eureka moments, that come from exploring the ‘What Ifs? It allows creativity to come into research and with that we advance knowledge." - Professor Cathy Craig

Helping Those with Impaired Movement  

One of the strands of the TEMPUS_G Project is working out ways of helping people with impaired movement move a little bit better.

Innovative solutions – such as trying to increase step length through the sound of action (walking on a gravel path) and serious games designed to train balance – can make a notable difference to how people move.

Complementary to pharmacological treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s Disease, patients have reported better balance, confidence and a more active life.

Where Next?

    • To make sure movement research has further impact on lives
    • To make the move from the lab to mainstream applications
    • To take aspects of theory and apply it to real life
    • To develop an app that uses sounds to improve quality of life for people with movement-impairment

Sport and Real Game Contexts

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Virtual Reality (VR) Technology is being used to understand player decision-making in real game contexts.

To study dynamic sporting actions a state-of-the-art, immersive, interactive virtual reality setup allows athletes and sports players to move in a virtual environment as if they were in a real-life sporting scenario.

Key decisions can turn a game on its head and make the difference between winning and losing.

Athletes don't often know how they perform certain actions. The cornerstone? Augment and train the brain of sports players to work in a way so different, that it represents a quantum shift in thinking.

“This is offering insight into how players make decisions about action - it allows us to understand a player’s Action Intelligence TM - something which does not currently exist in the world today.” Professor Cathy Craig

By studying ‘self-pacing’ – e.g. place-kicking in rugby, putting a ball in golf – TEMPUS_G is getting to grips with ‘flow.’

Psychological strategies and scenarios developed are helping athletes and professionals tune their internal timing mechanisms through external references to get better results, every time. 

Where Next?

    • Provide meaningful data that offers new insight into a player’s action intelligence
    • Develop a technological platform that combines in-game VR with an action analytics engine
    • To continue the development of a spin out company - More information on that project is available here

More on the advances being made at the Queen's Movement and Innovation Lab
More on the research project activity and outputs