Dr Ozan Vardal
University of York
Ozan studied undergraduate psychology at the University of Groningen, and holds a master's degree in Performance Psychology from the University of Edinburgh, where he wrote theses on the dynamics of psychological momentum in sport competition and the decision-making of expert applied psychologists respectively. He has long been fascinated with the psychological mechanisms underpinning complex skills, owing to his own background as a classically trained musician and his previous work as a performance psychology consultant with competitive athletes. His primary research interests involve the behavioural and neural factors surrounding human learning and skilled performance.
A description of Ozan's research:
Ozan views games as behaviourally rich environments for the study of complex skills and human learning. The competitive and immersive nature of games encourages millions of players to develop profound skill over hours, days, and even years of practice. Ozan’s work takes advantage of large data repositories generated by such players to study how different patterns of practice result in differences in learning outcomes. He also uses experimental methods in his work, and is currently using neuroimaging methods (MEG) and modelling techniques to identify how shifts between different behavioural and neural states affect performance as people play Tetris. By using games as a vehicle to study psychology, Ozan aims to develop scalable solutions to studying human learning. He hopes for a future where the science of learning is sufficiently advanced, such that (artificial) trainers can recommend optimised practice schedules for motivated learners, in any performance domain.
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