Affect as a Factor in Precision Performance

William Caruso and Rosalind Picard | MAS.630

Fall 2017


  • Empatica E4
  • Zephyr BioPatch
  • SUIS Electronic Target System


Olympic Rifle shooting is a precision sport that requires a shooter to control his mental and physical states for an extended period of time. The ideal shooter can remain relaxed during an entire 1:45 minute match and keep his body still for 20 shots in each different position (standing, kneeling and prone). Each shot brings a new battle for the shooter, requiring a ritualistic performance to be repeated 60 times in a row. Our hypothesis is that arousal of the autonomic nervous system can throw a shooter off their game, making it hard to focus and stay still, especially during a match when every shot counts.

This research focuses on monitoring physiological signals (e.g. heart rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, bilateral electrodermal activity, skin temperature, motion.) of rifle shooters during a performance with state-of-the-art wearable sensors to see how arousal in the autonomous nervous system affects performance.

Study Design


This study is ongoing during Fall 2017.