When we look at a scene, an upside-down image of it is formed by the lens and cornea of our eye onto its inner, back surface, where light-sensitive photoreceptors called rods and cones absorb the arriving light and produce a neural representation of the image.
This representation is processed and transmitted to the brain where it eventually leads to our perception of the scene and the objects within it. It is important to note that our perception is by no means instantaneous. Even in bright light, the delay between the scene being imaged and our conscious perception of the scene is about 200 ms. To put this delay into context, if a ball is moving at 90 mph, it will have travelled about 8 m before we are able to perceive it at any given instant. Thus, for us to interact with a fast-moving ball, we must predict where it will be 200 ms in the future. This is one of the vital skills of a successful sports player, and something we all tend to do unconsciously in interacting with the world around us. However, if something unexpected happens to the ball, such as being deﬂected by a player or object, we may not have time to react to the change before the ball passes us and or goes into the goal.
The OKKULO™ system depends on retraining sports players at unique light levels where the speed of visual processing is slower than at normal light levels. Each light level offers a varying degree of difficulty and provides a direct pathway to evolve the athletes movement. One of the ways in which it achieves this is by switching between two different types of photoreceptor with partially overlapping operating ranges: the sensitive rods, functioning at lower levels of illumination, and the more insensitive cones, functioning at higher levels.
In each light level the athlete must adapt to the environment and overcome the delay in visual performance. To do this the athletes motor system starts to economise, making it quicker and more direct. OKKULO™ does not change their technique, we evolve it and make it quicker and better able to cope. This happens during the first session and essentially switches the athlete on. Through regular training the athlete will lock in their new improved movement, maintain and then deploy when placed back into their natural environment.
When the athlete returns to normal light levels, the visual system then speeds up, creating the sense that the environment in which they now perform is slower than it was previously. In addition to the new, more economical and faster movement, the new found visual performance creates the perfect setting for the athlete to excel. The boost in performance is significant and has seen staggering results that are placing athletes at the top of their game with regards to their peers.
What we do at OKKULO™ can help athletes across a range of sports. We look at each sport independently and look for the micro movements or key movements in their sport and look to adapt a system to suit. For example look at the alpine skiing events. The athlete has to react to each pole in the slalom and must make a decision at every pole. Imagine if we could replicate that and improve that movement, make it more economical, to get from A to B quicker would be highly beneficial. In OKKULO™ we can do just that. The same can be said for elite racing like Formula One, where reacting to corners and opponents is vital to their success. Understanding the athletes movement is critical and from that we can create a system and a pathway to evolve the athlete to be their absolute best.