Tagged / Balance

My personal experience at Café Scientific

Café scientific was one of the best public engagement activities that I have done in the past years, and I do recommend going there and deliver your talk to the public.

In all my past experiences (including pint of science, the festival of learning, U3A, the Air Show and others) I have always met great people who were interested to know and learn more about what we are doing here at BU, and at Café Scientific, it was no different.

I arrived there 1h before the talk, the café (vintage/steampunk style), was already set up for the event, thanks to the great work of the Public Engagement Team. So I had all the time to calm down and get ready.

At about 19:30 the place was packed, and few people had to listen to the talk standing up.

A sample of the presentation is available on Youtube:

Even if the room was fully booked, the audience was very quiet and focused on listening to the 40 minutes presentation.

However, the best part was at the end, and I am not referring to the delicious brownie cake that Boscanova Café made for celebrating the 5th birthday of Café Scientific, but for the questions.

I was happily surprised to have so many interesting questions, which made me think again about my projects.

There were questions about: the effect of singing and yoga exercises on balance; why not make a POWERbreathe that instead of a mouthpiece has a nosepiece; how much the improvement in balance was due to the strength of the muscles trained and not just the ability to breathe deeper; why not test the effects of meditation, and others very intelligent questions.

Finally, it was challenging and I hope that all the audience received the right message: research can be fascinating and fun, especially if you can share it with others.

If you are interested in know more about how to breathe your way into balance, contact me at fferraro@bournemouth.ac.uk

Thank you for reading.

Francesco.

Winner of “The strength of young graduates contest”.

 

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Last Friday a postman knocked at my parent’s house in Italy.

He carried a parchment, from The National Strength and Condition Association.

On it is written that my Master Degree Thesis won “The strength of young graduates contest” as second best Italian research in its field.

The study of 2015, is titled: “THE BIOMECHANICS EVALUATION IN STUDYING THE MOTION – COGNITION RELATIONSHIP” and can be summarised as follow:

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-07-37-15using a system of 8 QTM cameras and a force plate, I measured the effect of different tasks upon the static balance in 20 young volunteers.

To do so, I asked them to perform four tasks in a randomised order, while I was recording their centre of pressure (with force plate) and centre of mass (with 3D motion capture system).

Tasks were:

  • Open Eyes (OE). The participants were instructed to hold a steady position, standing up with their feet together, for 30s.
screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-07-37-59
  • Closed Eyes (CE). Same position as OE, but participants were instructed to keep their eyes closed for 30s.
  • Cognitive Dual Task (COGN-DT). Holding the same steady position, I asked them to countdown aloud, backwards in threes from a number that I randomly chose.
  • Motor Dual Task (MOT-DT). Same position, but for this task volunteers were instructed to move their fingers (of the right hand) and touch their thumb alternately, for 30s.

What the result told us was that the COGN-DT was causing more perturbation, followed by the CE task.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-07-37-44Special thanks go to the people who helped me at the MotionLab in Naples (Giuseppe Sorrentino, Laura Mandolesi and Pasquale Varriale), and to my current supervisors (Alison McConnell, Tom Wainwright and James Gavin) who believed in me by giving me the opportunity to be here today.

Looking forward, with hope to collect more milestones.

Thanks.