Characterizing the Psychophysiological Profile of Expert and Novice Marksmen
Marksmanship training includes a combination of classroom instruction and field practice involving the instantiation of a well-defined set of sensory, motor, and cognitive skills. 10 expert marksmen and 30 novices participated in a study that measured marksman performance during simulated ballistics shooting of a M4 replica infrared rifle. Participants’ physiology and performance were quantified while they completed a battery of neurocognitive tests. Experts demonstrated consistent and more accurate shot performance across all trials. Compared to novices, experts evidenced lower levels of sympathetic activation as measured by heart rate variability during the neurocognitive tasks. Factor analysis identified experts as having above normal visuospatial processing speeds and sustained attention, reflecting experts as having better performance during vigilance neurocognitive tasks. Identifying physiological metrics of experts during neurocognitive testing opens the door to individualized novice instruction to help to improve specific areas flagged as below normal during or prior to novice marksmanship instruction.
KeywordsElectroencephalogram (EEG) Electrocardiogram (EKG) Marksmanship Expert Heart Rate Variability Neurocognitive testing psychomotor skill acquisition
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Fitts, P.M., Posner, M.I.: Human Performance. Brooks/Cole, Belmont (1967)Google Scholar
- 3.Hatfield, B., Hillman, C.: The psychophysiology of sport: A mechanistic understanding of the psychology of superior performance. In: Singer, R., Hausenblas, H., Janelle, C. (eds.) Handbook of Sports Psychology, pp. 362–386. Wiley & Sons, New York (2004)Google Scholar
- 5.Milton, J., et al.: Expert motor performance: Limbic activation is inversely related to the skill level. Neurology 60(Suppl. 1), A345 (2003)Google Scholar
- 12.Lacey, J.I.: Somatic response patterning and stress: Some revisions of activation theory. Psychological stress: Issues in research, 14–38 (1967)Google Scholar
- 13.Espinosa, P.D., et al.: Development of sensor-based measures of rifle marksmanship skill and performance (Deliverable to Advanced Brain Monitoring, Inc.). University of California, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles (2008)Google Scholar
- 14.Rifle marksmanship (PCN 144 000091 00, MCRP 3-01A). U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), Albany, GA (2001)Google Scholar
- 15.Camm, A.J., et al.: Heart rate variability: Standards of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use. European Heart Journal (17), 354–381 (1996)Google Scholar