CURRENT (AND PREVIOUS) FUNCTION: Jonas De Wachter is a PhD student at the research group Human Physiology and Sports Physiotherapy. In 2017 he graduated as Master in Physical Education and movement sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. At the VUB he gained experience in the field of physiological research within the topic of physiological effects of locally applied heat on endurance performance and the mental state of athletes.
RESEARCH AREA: This research fits into the big picture of the MFYS-department, “Exercise in the brain” in particular. Within MFYS, Jonas will focus on the origin of mental fatigue. During the recent years, this topic gained a lot of interest, within which he will further elaborate on the neurophysiological factors which lead to mental fatigue. During further stages, Jonas will narrow his research down to practical interventions to deteriorate the negative effects of mental fatigue.
CURRENT RESEARCH QUESTIONS: The current research of Jonas focuses on the neurophysiological relationship between mental and physical fatigue. A first part of the research will focus on the neurophysiological mechanisms that lead to mental fatigue. Specific attention will be paid to environmental factors such as altitude/hypoxia. Afterwards, he will target on practical applications that can influence this form of fatigue within specific environments such as nutritional interventions.
PRACTICAL APPLICABILITY: The effects of mental fatigue go beyond influencing sports performance. Think of long car rides or exhausting days at the office. By being cognitively active for a prolonged period of time, we increase mental fatigue, but also the likelihood of accidents in which we put ourselves, but certainly also others, at risk. Practical applications to counter or at least minimize this form of fatigue are also part of Jonas's research.