Summary

The human eye system is closely related to cognitive functions such as perception and provides the easiest and the most accurate way to extract information from our visual environment for further processing.   Approximately 30% of our brain is used to process the information.  Eye movements typically happen because we are looking where our current task requires us to focus.

This PhD research will use senor technology to explore the different perspectives on how Quiet Eye (QE), defined as the “final fixation or tracking gaze located on a specific location or object in the visuomotor workspace for a minimum of 100 ms” (Vickers, 2007) can be used to retrain the golfers to better focus to allow their body to accommodate, retrain and improve in accuracy for golf.

The PhD study will build experiments using elite category 1 golfers to use 3D motion capture and Tobii Glasses to create a baseline, intervention and review of their skills to view and send golf balls to targets different distances way (50-150m).  This will allow for the data pertaining to ball, club and/or swing kinematics to be measured for 3D tracking using radar technology (e.g. TrackMan®). This would enable precise measurement of ball flight parameters, such as the angle and speed of the club head at impact, the launch angle of the ball and shot dispersion for various clubs where the scoring scenarios add the pressure to complete the task with the minimal dispersion from the targets.

The work builds on initial trials of capturing eye gaze using Tobii Glasses and integrating it the 3D motion capture system in the Rory McIlroy Golf Lab facilities.  The Rory McIlroy Golf Lab is a world class and state-of-the-art environment that will permit further work with Physical Activity and Health using sensor technology.  As a result, the findings will be analysed and create scenarios that will be tried with other non-elite golfers to retrain their eye, hand coordination and generate better focus leading to more consistent golf results.

Rory McIlroy Golf Lab: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/news/2010/march/rory-mcilroy-opens-y-1-2m-sports-sciences-labs

Nikolaev, Andrey R., Pannasch, Sebastian, Ito, Junji, Belopolsky, Artem V., Eye movement-related brain activity during perceptual and cognitive processing, Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, vol 8.

Vickers, J. (2007). Perception, cognition, and decision training: The quiet eye in action. Chicago, IL: Human Kinetics.


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,285 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University


Reviews

Profile picture of Adrian Johnston

As Senior Engineering Manager of Analytics at Seagate Technology I utilise the learning from my PhD ever day

Adrian Johnston - PhD in Informatics

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Profile picture of Xin Wei

I received the bachelor’s of engineering degree in computer science and technology from Shangrao Normal University, Jiangxi, China, in 2013; and the master’s degree in computer application and technology from the School of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fujian Normal University, China. When I was pursuing a PhD degree at Ulster University, I continued my research on face recognition and image representation.This long journey has only been possible due to the constant support and encouragement of my first supervisor. I also like to thank my second supervisor for his patience, support and guidance during my research studies. My favourite memory was the days of exercising, gathering and playing with my friends here. If I could speak to myself at the start of my PhD, the best piece of advice I would give myself would be "submit more papers to Journals instead of conferences".

Xin Wei - PhD in Computer Science and Informatics


Profile picture of Jyotsna Talreja Wassan

In the whole PhD ordeal, my supervisory team played a tremendous role:- they are three in a million. They are perfect supervisors who perfectly know which milestones or pathways to be taken during research initiatives, and they understand the roles of virtually all stages in the journey of PhD. They showcased superior abilities in managing and motivating me evoking high standards; demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Jane and Haiying guided me as their daughter and Fiona turned out to be the best of friends.I heard from “Eleanor Roosevelt” that “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” The dream with which I grew up to become a Doctor one day, has finally come true. In the journey of PhD, I embraced that a PhD is not just the highest degree in Education but rather it is a life experience where perseverance is the key. I can never forget words from my external examiner Prof Yike Guo, from Imperial College London. His words

Jyotsna Talreja Wassan - PhD in Computer Science and Informatics