Just Jump In

Kou Yang lets curiosity guide him into the research lab at the Gfeller Center, where he’s uncovered his desire to become an athletic trainer.

November 7th, 2018

Exercise and sports scientists within the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center use visual assessments like eye tracking and pupillary response activities to identify visual deficits that signify a concussion. As part of the Vision Core project, they give participants a series of tasks on a large television screen to observe motor response and reaction time.

By developing a post-concussion baseline of abilities, athletic trainers and doctors who treat athletes can determine when a player is ready to head back to the field. The overall goal, though, is to apply this research to anyone in the general population who suffers from a concussion.

Senior Kou Yang, who has been working on this project for the past year, is taking this research further, using a virtual reality (VR) program to elicit eye response. He hopes to discover how successful VR is for testing vision and if there’s a way to improve upon this use of the technology. “It’s a mystery,” he admits, “because I’m still jumping into it myself.”

Kou Yang is a senior majoring in exercise and sport science within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He is also a research assistant within the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center.