The Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab
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For scientists studying how the brain influences behavior and performance, there is no place like Nebraska.

The Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory (NAPL) and the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have forged a new model for health and performance research, thanks to an unprecedented partnership between research and athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In 2013, a 50,000-square-foot expansion of Nebraska’s East Memorial Stadium brought together athletic and academic researchers in NAPL and CB3 under one roof to study human behavior and performance. The partnership is believed to be the nation’s only joint, on campus athletic and academic research facility. The collaboration is a testament to Nebraska’s commitment to student-athlete’s performance, safety, and long-term health and well-being.

Both facilities are housed within East Memorial Stadium, allowing optimal accessibility for student-athletes, researchers, and coaching staffs.

Under the direction of Jack Ransone, PhD, ATC, FACSM, the Nebraska Athletic Performance Laboratory positions Nebraska as a leader in research on student-athlete performance, safety, long-term health and well-being.  The NAPL team draws together researchers with diverse areas of expertise, including biomechanics, computer sciences, endocrinology, engineering, ergonomics, exercise physiology, nutrition, physical rehabilitation, psychology, sports science, and vision.  Researchers collaborate with Nebraska Athletic coaches and staff, as well as colleagues from around the world to address areas that are critical to athletes and society.

NAPL’s broad research agenda includes investigating the impact of training techniques, therapeutic interventions, and nutrition on performance and recovery, assessing the biomechanical impact of performance on the athlete’s body, harnessing biomarkers in saliva and blood to guide training, developing technologies to reduce injury and improve performance, and identifying and reducing factors that lead to injuries and chronic conditions later in an athlete’s life. 

While the research addresses primarily collegiate athletes, the novel technologies and interventions that evolve are expected to impact the lives of athletes across the ability and age spectrum.

When it Comes to Personal Performance, There is No Place like Nebraska…

Researchers collaborate with Nebraska Athletic coaches and staff, as well as academic colleagues and business professionals from around the world to address areas that are critical to the student-athlete.

The NAPL includes simulated athletic environments for studying performance, incorporating a camera system to track human movement in 3D, force plates to measure ground reaction forces, and other state-of-the-art technology to assess biomarkers, investigate exercise capacity, and measure body composition.

Cutting edge technology assesses the impact of training interventions on performance and identifies factors that predict injuries.

Specific goals include helping student-athletes perform optimally while reducing risks of injuries, not only during their time at Nebraska, but also following graduation.

Student-athletes will participate in advanced testing to track their performance.

The Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior

Concussion research is a cornerstone of the CB3 and a major focus of combined research with the NAPL. Nebraska student-athletes will have access to the CB3 and the chance to participate in life-changing research. Internationally recognized expert, Dr. Dennis Molfese, directs the CB3 and leads the Big Ten/CIC-Ivy League Traumatic Brain Injury Research Collaboration.

The CB3 utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to uncover mysteries about brain functioning, how it impacts health, and how it affects human behavior. The capacity to capture high resolution brain images before and after a concussion is expected to yield better ways to assess injury, boost safety and help student-athletes safely return to their studies and sport.

Read More About CB3

The Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab in Action