LJMU Professor helps shape the future of military training in the US
03 April 2012
Mark Williams, Professor of Motor Behaviour in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences delivered a 60-minute address to a select committee of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences in the United States on Friday 30th March focusing on 'Assessing Foreign Technology Development in Human Performance Modification'.
The committee, which included distinguished academics from several US universities including Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford and Yale, was especially interested in learning about research focusing on improving expert performance through simulation training and on perceptual-cognitive expertise and its development across domains.
The committee, which met in Irvine, California, was charged with considering emerging research which may significantly alter the way humans think and act in the next 15-20 years, with a particular focus on research that could have a significant impact on the way militaries train and operate.
The project was funded by the US Military and will report to the National Research Council/National Academies of Science in the autumn of 2012.
Professor Williams commented: "I felt honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to provide guidance to the Academy. Although our work on expertise and skill learning has had translational impact on the development of elite athletes for some time, in recent years there has been increasing interest in applying the conceptual models and methods used to capture and enhance expertise in sport to other domains such as the military, law enforcement, education and medicine.
"Our research group has been attempting to identify factors that influence the development of expertise across domains using a cross-disciplinary approach involving the fields of cognitive psychology, behavioural neuroscience, information technology and the learning sciences. Future generations will need to be trained how to learn and practice more effectively and efficiently in order to ensure that they have the skills needed to be competitive in the global marketplace."