17,654 research outputs found

    Preparing young talent for world cup success

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    CoachNet: The further development of a coordinated network for sport coaching in Europe

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    Leeds Metropolitan University (LMU), in partnership with the European Coaching Council (ECC), was successful in a bid to the European Commission under the Preparatory Action in the Field of Sport (EAC/18/2011). The project was designed to develop an innovative approach that would contribute to the strengthening of the organisation of sport in Europe as part of the ‘good governance, strand of the EU Preparatory Action in the Field of Sport. The primary objective was to examine ways in which the organisation of coaching could be enhanced in Europe, with a particular focus on the greater involvement of coaches in decisionmaking. In exploring ways to maximise the ‘voice of the coach’, the partnership between LMU and ECC was central to the project. ECC is the continental division of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE). Through its network, ECC was in a position to identify current organisational arrangements for coaching across Europe. LMU is a well established research and practice oriented university in the UK and played a lead role in coordinating the project and guiding the research methodology through its Sport Coaching and Physical Education (SCOPE) Research and Enterprise Centre. Varying arrangements for the development and management of coaching were observed through a study of European countries. Within this varied landscape, the representation of coaches was sporadic, ranging from no representative mechanism to a number of good practice examples that made provision for the tiered engagement of coaches depending on their role; sport and coaching status category. These examples included confederated models across sports; blended models across coaching status categories and single and multi-sport models for the engagement and representation of coaches. The study concluded that there is a need for a more considered approach to the involvement of coaches in decision-making, with a number of recommendations developed for consideration by member states and the European divisions of the International Federations. These recommendations proposed that the structure of ECC as the European arm of ICCE be reviewed, with the intention to more strongly engage organisations that have been established to represent the voice of coaches and leading to a re-structuring of the organisation. In this context, ICCE and ECC should play an even stronger advocacy, representative and action role in establishing coaching as a blended profession, which includes volunteer, part-time paid and full-time paid coaches. More coherent structures for the engagement of coaches in each sport and country are also recommended. This should occur as part of a wider commitment that the principle of listening to and hearing the voice of the coach should become more strongly embedded within the way in which sporting and related organisations operate. The EU is well placed to lead on this type of approach, ensuring the coaches are more fully engaged in social dialogue and in the process to further enhance the role of sport and coaching in Europe. Further research is also recommended on the nature, needs and demographics of the coaching workforce. All of these approaches need to be tempered with the realisation that coaches are individual decision-makers, operating in a wide variety of contexts and many of whom do not show a propensity for involvement in formal ‘representative’ structures. The need for alternative methods to connect with and engage coaches was, therefore, identified. These include a more segmented approach to engaging with coaches, depending on their coaching role and status, as well as the utilisation of more informal modes of web-based communication to connect directly with coaches in their daily lives. In all existing and future scenarios, the key role of federations at the national and international level in seeking, activating and allocating financial and other resources to connect with and support their coaches was highlighted. The findings have been notified to ICCE for formal consideration, leading to changes in the ways in which the voice of the coach is more clearly represented within the work of the organisation. ICCE should continue to work closely with the EU Sport Unit to ensure that the recommendations of this report are implemented and evaluated on an on-going basis

    Sensorimotor Adaptation of Speech Using Real-time Articulatory Resynthesis

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    Sensorimotor adaptation is an important focus in the study of motor learning for non-disordered speech, but has yet to be studied substantially for speech rehabilitation. Speech adaptation is typically elicited experimentally using LPC resynthesis to modify the sounds that a speaker hears himself producing. This method requires that the participant be able to produce a robust speech-acoustic signal and is therefore not well-suited for talkers with dysarthria. We have developed a novel technique using electromagnetic articulography (EMA) to drive an articulatory synthesizer. The acoustic output of the articulatory synthesizer can be perturbed experimentally to study auditory feedback effects on sensorimotor learning. This work aims to compare sensorimotor adaptation effects using our articulatory resynthesis method with effects from an established, acoustic-only method. Results suggest that the articulatory resynthesis method can elicit speech adaptation, but that the articulatory effects of the two methods differ

    Stochastic Perturbations of Periodic Orbits with Sliding

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    Vector fields that are discontinuous on codimension-one surfaces are known as Filippov systems and can have attracting periodic orbits involving segments that are contained on a discontinuity surface of the vector field. In this paper we consider the addition of small noise to a general Filippov system and study the resulting stochastic dynamics near such a periodic orbit. Since a straight-forward asymptotic expansion in terms of the noise amplitude is not possible due to the presence of discontinuity surfaces, in order to quantitatively determine the basic statistical properties of the dynamics, we treat different parts of the periodic orbit separately. Dynamics distant from discontinuity surfaces is analyzed by the use of a series expansion of the transitional probability density function. Stochastically perturbed sliding motion is analyzed through stochastic averaging methods. The influence of noise on points at which the periodic orbit escapes a discontinuity surface is determined by zooming into the transition point. We combine the results to quantitatively determine the effect of noise on the oscillation time for a three-dimensional canonical model of relay control. For some parameter values of this model, small noise induces a significantly large reduction in the average oscillation time. By interpreting our results geometrically, we are able to identify four features of the relay control system that contribute to this phenomenon.Comment: 44 pages, 9 figures, submitted to: J Nonlin. Sc

    Probabilistic models of planetary contamination

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    Likely fundamental inadequacies in the model of planetary contamination advanced by Sagan and Coleman are discussed. It is shown that a relatively minor modification of the basic Sagan-Coleman formula yields approximations that are generally adequate with data in the range of interest. This approximation formula differs from the original Sagan-Coleman version only through an initial conditioning on landing outcome. It always yields an upper (conservative) bound for the total probability of contamination, this appealing feature is lost if the conditioning on landing outcome is deleted

    Assessment of different urban traffic control strategy impacts on vehicle emissions

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    This paper investigates the influence of traffic signal control strategy on vehicle emissions, vehicle journey time and total throughput flow within a single isolated four-armed junction. Two pre-timed signal plans are considered, one with two-stages involving permissive-only opposing turns and the other with four-stages which has no conflicting traffic. Additionally, the increase in efficiency by utilising actuated signal timing where green time is re-optimised as flow values vary is investigated. A microscopic traffic simulation model is used to model flows and AIRE (Analysis of Instantaneous Road Emissions) microscopic emissions model is utilised to out- put emission levels from the flow data. A simple junction model shows that the two-stage signal plan is more efficient in both emis- sions and journey time. However, as the level of opposed turning vehicles and conflicting movement increases, the two-stage model moves to being the inferior signal plan choice and the four-stage plan outputs fewer emissions than the two-stage plan. A real-world example of a four-armed junction has been used in this study and from the traffic survey data and existing junction layout; it is rec- ommended that a two-stage plan is used as it produces lower amounts of emissions and shorter journey times compared to a four-stage plan. The results also show that nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the most sensitive to changes in flow followed by carbon dioxide (CO2), Black Carbon and then particulate matter (PM10)

    Speech Sensorimotor Learning through a Virtual Vocal Tract

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    Studies of speech sensorimotor learning often manipulate auditory feedback by modifying isolated acoustic parameters such as formant frequency or fundamental frequency using near real-time resynthesis of a participant\u27s speech. An alternative approach is to engage a participant in a total remapping of the sensorimotor working space using a virtual vocal tract. To support this approach for studying speech sensorimotor learning we have developed a system to control an articulatory synthesizer using electromagnetic articulography data. Articulator movement data from the NDI Wave System are streamed to a Maeda articulatory synthesizer. The resulting synthesized speech provides auditory feedback to the participant. This approach allows the experimenter to generate novel articulatory-acoustic mappings. Moreover, the acoustic output of the synthesizer can be perturbed using acoustic resynthesis methods. Since no robust speech-acoustic signal is required from the participant, this system will allow for the study of sensorimotor learning in any individuals, even those with severe speech disorders. In the current work we present preliminary results that demonstrate that typically-functioning participants can use a virtual vocal tract to produce diphthongs within a novel articulatory-acoustic workspace. Once sufficient baseline performance is established, perturbations to auditory feedback (formant shifting) can elicit compensatory and adaptive articulatory responses