Major Research Programs

The major research programs at SPERT LAB are: i) expertise and expert performance, ii) representative design in sport, iii) performance analysis in sport.


Expertise and expert performance

This work program deals with the processes underlying the different levels of expertise in the behaviour of athletes, teams, coaches, referees, exercisers and other performers, in the ecology of their action domain. The purpose of this line of research is to understand not only the distinctive aspects of successful behaviour, but also the processes that lead to distinct levels of expertise.

Representative design in sport

This work program studies the characteristics of tasks as a function of their demands on the performer. This process is based on the identification of the characteristics that lead to generalization of behaviour on these tasks to other behaviour settings. This applies to learning designs and experimental task designs.

Performance analysis in sport

This program includes the analysis of the game in a tactic-technical level, by investigating qualitative and quantitative performance indicators, and by studying the contents of ball sports viewed from the perspective of their participants.


Our research program at SPERT LAB uses essentially three sorts of methodology: i) experimentation by direct manipulation of participants and/or the context of action, ii) computerized simulation, and iii) systematic observation and analysis of behaviour on performance settings. The measured variables are typically eco-kinematics, psychophysical, physiological, neuroscientific, and notational (in terms of individual and collective behaviours), which can be mathematically modelled.

In terms of equipment, we work with GPS, video-based motion analysis, ball release machines, and neurophysiological sensors. Besides this, we also work with methods such as interviews, questionnaires, and documental analysis, for case studies of expert performers.

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