The nominating institution DAAD on the breakthrough:

Treating your vagus nerve can help to break walls between people. It controls how our heart is beating, and is responsible for many phenomena ensuring a positive social functioning. Laborde started his research career because of the headbutt of Zidane in 2006, willing to understand what happened, and how to prevent it. With his research, he is investigating how to best activate the vagus nerve, with in particular slow breathing techniques, handtouch, sport, or electrical stimulation.

Sylvain Laborde

Institute of Psychology, Department of Performance Psychology, German Sport University Cologne

Sylvain is 36 years old, comes from France, and is living since 12 years in Germany, working at the Department of Performance Psychology of the German Sport University Cologne as a Lecturer. He first did a Master in Sport Sciences (2007) with an Erasmus stay in Spain (2005-2006). Then Sylvain did a European PhD in Sport Sciences (2011), in parallel with a Master in Psychology (2010), and then later a second European PhD in Psychology (2019). His research focuses on how to help athletes cope with stress, using specifically heart and brain measurements.

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