Research Topic

Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Elite Performers

About this Research Topic

Developing perceptual-cognitive expertise in highly demanding activities, such as sports, piloting or surgery is accompanied by structural and functional reorganization in the central nervous system. This makes the brain a crucial performance determinant in such disciplines and an area of great scientific ...

Developing perceptual-cognitive expertise in highly demanding activities, such as sports, piloting or surgery is accompanied by structural and functional reorganization in the central nervous system. This makes the brain a crucial performance determinant in such disciplines and an area of great scientific interest given the potential for diagnostic and predictive biomarkers and as targets for training interventions. This Research Topic aims to attract cross-sectional and experimental studies focusing on the neural mechanisms behind high-level perceptual-cognitive performance using human psychometric and neuroscience approaches including, but not limited to EEG, (f)MRI, fNIRS, TMS, TES and eye tracking.

Perception of sensory information and accompanying cognitive processing are crucial for human interactions with the environment. Elite performers in number of human endeavors such as athletics, piloting and surgery are exposed to extremely challenging environmental conditions resulting in the development of exceptional perceptual and perceptual-cognitive skills. This includes evidence that experts display enhanced sensitivity to stimuli, greater attention to advanced cues, more rapid cognitive processing for decision making and initiation of motor responses, when compared to lower-achieving experts or non-experts. This rapidly developing regime of science is enabled by ever increasingly mobile modes of psychophysiological diagnostics and feedback that permit scrutiny of expertise in increasingly naturalistic contexts. Given the brain’s performance-determining role for behavioral performance and the increasing interest in perceptual-cognitive training that can be embedded during training, there is a valuable opportunity to assemble cutting-edge research that bridges this topic. Such information could facilitate perceptual-cognitive performance diagnostics, allow more individualization of training, and provide support for talent identification and scouting and guide development of new training approaches specifically targeting the central nervous system.

This Research Topic aims to assemble research studies that address the interaction between neural processes and perceptual and perceptual-cognitive performance in populations developing outstanding perceptual-cognitive skills (athletes, pilots, surgeons, …). We seek Original articles, Reviews, Mini-Reviews, Hypothesis, Case Report and Opinion articles that investigate perceptual-cognitive expertise and cover but are not limited to the following topics.
• Perceptual-cognitive expertise in elite performers.
• Studies using high-resolution mobile brain and body diagnostics in increasingly naturalistic contexts to study the basis of elite performance.
• Studies using high-precision neuromodulatory or neuro-feedback approaches in increasingly naturalistic contexts to improve elite performance.
• Research directly linking psychophysiological measures to ‘on-field’ performance using real-world metrics such as game statistics, surgical outcomes, and professional performance reviews.


Keywords: elite performers, performance, perceptual-cognitive, neuromodulatory, EEG, (f)MRI, fNIRS, TMS, TES


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Submission Deadlines

26 November 2021 Manuscript
17 December 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 November 2021 Manuscript
17 December 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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