Peak performance is our ability to respond optimally to our present environment and affect the necessary change to create the best result.
Psychophysiology is the study of the interaction between the mind and the body.
Another word for psychophysiology is simply self-awareness, it is the process of learning about yourself, and discovering how you respond to certain situations.
We use a wearable device which measures the traders' heart rate, peripheral temperature and skin conductance.
We measure the traders' heart rate (HR) by measuring changes in the blood flow in their fingertip.
Skin conductance (SC) is a measure of the rate of electrical activity of the skin. As we enter into states of biological arousal like the fight flight response we perspire more and thereby increase the electrical activity of the skin.
We measure peripheral temperature on the tip of your finger because it is a excellent way of registering your biological response to opportunity and threat through the process of vasodilation and vasoconstriction.
Heart rate coherence is a state where your heart rate and breath rate are synchronous, your heart is beating in rhythm with your breath rate. It is a cornerstone of peak performance.
Vasodilation is the way your blood vessels respond to you being relaxed. As your muscles relax the finer tissue surrounding your veins and arteries loosen which increases the blood supply and the temperature of your body.
Vasoconstriction, is the opposite process. As we become afraid, nervous and anxious our muscles tensen and restric the flow of warm blood to the body, causing us to feel cold.
The sympathetic nervous system is one of two parts of the autonomic nervous system. It's main function is to respond to threat through the fight, flight or freeze response.
In trading the sympathetic nervous system's primary role is to alert us and assist us to exit sub-optimal trades and assist in profit optimization.
The parasympathetic nervous system acts opposite to its' sympathetic counterpart, in that it is responsible for the body's ability to enter into a relaxed state and prepare for digestion and procreation.
Therefore, in trading it allows us to develop a trading plan in an optimal state and execute it as a measured response to market activity.
Peak Alpha also known as "being in the zone" is a very specific state of electrical activity in the brain where information is processed at optimal rates and with exacting precision producing a behavior that results in exceptional performance.
"Optimal decision-making" for traders is a biological state where the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the body and its' muscles are relaxed and alert, perception is clear, the mind is quiet. Information from the markets is being assimilated with goals and objectives and expressed as a psychophysiological experience, as such, decision responses are clearly defined making timely and responsive execution effortless.