By applying different types of feedback we can manipulate the impact of a cognitive task on an athlete's brain. In a recent study, it was proven that by providing visual performance feedback, participants experienced increased mental fatigue, mental exertion, and general fatigue but, crucially they did not experience a decline in physical performance.

This study sheds light on how the application of feedback can alter the impact of a training plan. This can be very useful if you are looking to optimize an athlete's cognitive performance without impacting their physical performance for that training session.

To Summarise

If you are wanting your athletes to have a high-quality physical training session add visual performance feedback to your athlete's cognitive training plan. If you want your athletes to train under mental fatigue, remove visual performance feedback from your athlete's cognitive training plan.

Visual Performance Feedback

Apply Visual Percentile Feedback mode to give your athletes real-time feedback for correct responses relative to previous correct responses. This specific mode should increase your athlete's focus to improve the consistency of their responses and will not impact their physical training session that day. The athlete needs to aim to respond within plus/minus 10% of the previous correct response. By giving athletes live relative performance feedback on every correct response, they will also learn how variable their reaction time can be.

When you first start applying this mode, we suggest starting with lower-intensity tasks so the athlete has time to reset themselves for the next stimulus.

What does VPF stand for?

Visual Percentile Feedback Mode

What is VPF Mode?

VPF mode is designed to optimize response time by giving athletes real-time percentile changes in response speed. VPF mode will display the athlete's percentage of change compared to the previous correct response. The relative percentage feedback is positive or negative for slower and faster responses, respectively.

When to use Visual Percentile Feedback mode

When you want to encourage performance monitoring based on correct responses.


  • 350ms correct

  • 380ms correct +8.5%

  • 280ms incorrect +8.5%

  • 450ms correct +18.4%

  • 500ms correct +11.1%

  • 320ms correct -36%

  • 350ms correct +9.3%

  • 400ms correct +14.2%

  • 376ms correct -6%

  • 350ms incorrect -6%

  • 320ms correct -14.8%

Study: Performance feedback mitigates effects of mental fatigue on endurance exercise performance.

Mental fatigue induced by an earlier cognitive task can impair performance on a subsequent physical task. The current study investigated whether such performance impairment could be mitigated by performance feedback. In an experimental sequential-task design, 63 sport science students completed a series of three tasks: 5-min physical (pre-test), 20-min cognitive, 5-min physical (post-test). Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups: feedback (n = 23), no feedback (n = 20), control (n = 20). The physical tasks, which assessed force production during a self-paced rhythmic handgrip task as a measure of physical endurance performance, were performed with (feedback group) or without (no feedback group, control group) visual performance feedback. The cognitive tasks involved either completing a 2-back memory task to induce mental fatigue (feedback and no feedback groups) or watching a didactic film (control group). Self-report measures (fatigue, exertion, vigor, motivation) were collected throughout. The 2-back cognitive task increased mental fatigue, mental exertion and general fatigue in the feedback and no feedback groups compared to the control group. Relative to the pre-test physical task, post-test endurance performance declined in the no-feedback group (−14.4%) but did not change in the control (−2.6%) and feedback (−2.4%) groups. This mitigation of performance effect was not accompanied by parallel changes in fatigue, exertion, vigor, or motivation. In conclusion, visual performance feedback mitigates the negative effects of mental fatigue on physical endurance performance.

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