CURRENT (AND PREVIOUS) FUNCTION: Jeroen van Cutsem obtained his joint PhD (Vrije Universiteit Brussel: Doctor in Rehabilitation Sciences and Physical Therapy; University of Kent: Doctor in Sport and Exercise Sciences & Sports Therapy) in April 2019 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the research group Human Physiology and Sports Physiotherapy, Faculty LK of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
RESEARCH AREA: Jeroen's research focuses on the fatigue that occurs during exercise. Specifically within the topic of fatigue, Jeroen is mainly interested in the effect of mental fatigue (e.g. after having worked for a long time on the PC) on physical performance. His research has already shown that sport activities, such as badminton, deteriorate due to mental fatigue (both trained badminton athletes and lay people react slower when they are mentally tired), and that simply rinsing your mouth with a bitter caffeine-containing drink is enough to influence your brain activity and counteract mental fatigue.
CURRENT RESEARCH QUESTIONS: Jeroen's ongoing research is mainly aimed at gaining more insights into the mechanism behind mental fatigue. What is the role of the energy mechanisms in the brain? Can changes in certain signal substances in our brain explain the negative effects of mental fatigue? His recent publication on creatine supplementation and mental fatigue is a first step in this search.
PRACTICAL APPLICABILITY: With these insights, athletes can be supported in achieving optimal physical performance, such as, for example, breaking the world hour record on a bicycle. But this knowledge can also be useful outside of sports, for example during a long drive. Because that too, is top sport for the brain.