Keynote speakers

Jérome Bourbousson, Maitre de Conférences-HDR, University of Nantes, FR (Collective Activity in Sport)

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Jérôme Bourbousson was graduate of the École Normale Supérieure, former Professeur Agrégé of Physical Education, Ph.D. in 2010, Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches in 2015.

Developing his research at the University of Nantes, France, his research interests fall within the area of “team cognition”, that aim to describe the cognitive and behavioral processes implied in team performance and learning. His work has principally centered on cognitive ergonomics of natural sports situations, grounded on dynamical systems and enactivism theory, using, separately or conjointly, both qualitative methodologies (e.g., collection and analysis of verbal protocols) and quantitative methodologies (e.g., statistical analysis of behavioral data). Developing a fruitful interdisciplinary approach for investigating practical challenges has been one of his main challenges in research.

  • Bourbousson, J., R’Kiouak, M., & Eccles, D.W. (2015). Dynamics of team coordination: A social network analysis as a window to shared awareness. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 24(5), 742-760. DOI:10.1080/1359432X.2014.1001977
  • Bourbousson, J., & Fortes-Bourbousson, M. (2016). How do co-agents actively regulate their collective behavior states ? Frontiers in Psychology: Cognitive Science, 7:1732. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01732.
  • R’Kiouak, M., Saury, J., Durand, M., & Bourbousson, J. (2017). Joint action in an elite pair crew after intensive team training: The reinforcement of extra-personal processes. Human Movement Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.humov.2017.09.008


Ralf Brand, Head of Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Potsdam, DE (Life-style and physical activities)

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Dr Ralf Brand (born 1971) is a full professor of sport and exercise psychology at the University of Potsdam (GER). After having received academic master degrees in physical education and psychology, he started his career as a research associate at the Department of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Konstanz (GER). There he earned a doctorate degree in social sciences in 2001. He completed his postdoctoral habilitation at the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences at the University of Stuttgart (GER) in 2006 with a monography on exercise psychological interventions and health behavior, and was appointed professor at the University of Potsdam finally in the year 2008. Since 2012 he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research. Dr Brand’s research focuses on the link between motivation and behavior. His recent work is characterized by an emphasis on automatic evaluative processes and the role of affect in exercise behavior change and maintenance.

  • Antoniewicz, F. & Brand, R. (2016). Learning to like exercising: Evaluative conditioning changes automatic evaluations of exercising and influences subsequent exercising behavior. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38(2), 138-148. doi:10.1123/jsep.2015-0125
  • Brand, R. & Ekkekakis, P. (2017). Affective-Reflective Theory of physical inactivity and exercise. German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s12662-017-0477-9
  • Brand, R. & Antoniewicz, F. (2016). Affective evaluations of exercising: the role of automatic-reflective evaluation discrepancy. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38(6), 631-638. doi: 10.1123/jsep.2016-0171


Dave Collins, Chair and Director, Institute of Coaching and Performance, University of Central Lancashire, UK (Talent Development)

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Dave is Director of Grey Matters Performance Ltd. and of the Institute of Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire. As an academic, he has over 300 peer review publications, plus numerous books and book chapters. As a practitioner, Dave has worked with over 60 World/Olympic medallists, plus numerous professional and international teams. As an athlete, he played high impact sports such as rugby and martial arts. As a coach, he trained national teams/athletes in three different sports.

  • Collins, D. & MacNamara, Á. (2012). The rocky road to the top: why talent needs trauma, Sports Medicine, 42 (11): 907-914.
  • Collins, D., MacNamara, Á. & McCarthy, N. (2016) Super champions, champions and almosts: Important differences and commonalities on the rocky road. Frontiers in Psychology, 11 January
  • Collins, D. MacNamara, Á. & McCarthy, N. (2016). Putting the Bumps in the Rocky Road: Optimising the Pathway to Excellence. Frontiers in Psychology


Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science, Royal College of Music, London, UK (Artistic Performances)

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Aaron Williamon is Professor of Performance Science at the Royal College of Music, where he directs the Centre for Performance Science. His research focuses on skilled performance and applied scientific initiatives that inform music learning and teaching, as well as the impact of music and the arts on society.

Aaron is founder of the International Symposium on Performance Science, chief editor of Performance Science (a Frontiers journal), and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the UK’s Higher Education Academy. In 2008, he was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music.

  • Cruder C, Falla D, Mangili F, Azzimonti L, Araújo L, Williamon A, & Barbero M (2018), Profiling the location and extent of musicians’ pain using digital pain drawings, Pain Practice, 18, 53-66
  • Araújo L, Wasley D, Perkins R, Atkins L, Redding E, Ginsborg J, & Williamon A (2017), Fit to perform: an investigation of higher education music students’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward health, Frontiers in Psychology, 8 (1558), 1-19.
  • Ascenso S, Williamon A, & Perkins R (2017), Understanding the psychological wellbeing of professional musicians through the lens of positive psychology, Psychology of Music, 45, 65-81.


José del R. Millán, Defitech Chair, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH (Brain, Imagery, Brain Interfaces)

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Dr. José del R. Millán joined the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2009 to help establish the Center for Neuroprosthetics. He holds the Defitech Foundation Chair and directs the Brain-Machine Interface Laboratory. He received a PhD in computer science from the Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, in 1992. Previously, he was a research scientist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission in Ispra (Italy) and a senior researcher at the Idiap Research Institute in Martigny (Switzerland). He has also been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Berkeley and Stanford as well as at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley. Dr. Millán has made several seminal contributions to the field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI), especially based on electroencephalogram (EEG) signals. Most of his achievements revolve around the design of brain-controlled robots. He has received several recognitions for these seminal and pioneering achievements, notably the IEEE-SMC Nobert Wiener Award in 2011 and elevation to IEEE Fellow in 2017. During the last years Dr. Millán is prioritizing the translation of BMI to end-users suffering from motor disabilities. As an example of this endeavour, his team won the first Cybathlon BMI race in October 2016. In parallel, he is designing BMI technology to offer new interaction modalities for able-bodied people.

  • Iturrate I., Chavarriaga R., Montesano L., Minguez J., Millán J.d.R. (2015). Teaching brain-machine interfaces as an alternative paradigm to neuroprosthetics control. Scientific Reports, 5:13893.
  • Khaliliardali Z., Chavarriaga R., Gheorghe L.A., Millán J.d.R. (2015). Action prediction based on anticipatory brain potentials during simulated driving. J. Neural Engineering, 12:066006.
  • Perdikis S., Tonin L., Millán J.d.R. (2017). Brain racers: How paralyzed athletes used a brain-computer interface to win gold at the cyborg Olympics. IEEE Spectrum, 54(9):44–51.