Cognitive Expertise by Repetition Enhanced Simulation-based (CERES) Training

Project: Research project

Project Details


Simulation-based training (SBT) holds great potential for rapid, inexpensive development of core cognitive skills related to operational goals. However, expertise in many skills requires extensive practice that is typically acquired from live experience in a learning process, and is not easily acquired from classroom instruction. Here we seek to examine the development of cognitive expertise using protocols that capitalize on the ability to quickly process large numbers of examples for repetitive practice, for example with hundreds of trials in an hour. Using this approach, we can easily quantify performance and track the learning progress over practice until expertise is exhibited. This approach will allows for the development of rapid, skillful, intuitive responding that resists stress and mental fatigue with robust measurement of expertise by assuring consistent and accurate performance across instances rather than only a single exam. In addition, adaptive training can be implemented over examples based on the ability to continually assess current knowledge and performance levels on the simplified task. This novel approach to skill training in a simulation-based environment is not envisioned as a replacement for existing SBT, in which carefully designed scenarios are worked through over an extended period of time to provide instruction on complex tasks. The primary challenges to realizing this opportunity are (1) developing tools to generate large numbers of training scenarios by accurate algorithmic (procedural) content creation, (2) creating the simplified task context in which a rapidly performed response captures key aspects of the skill being trained, and (3) validating the simulation-based training task in live contexts outside the simulation environment. Overcoming these challenges will enable the training of essential military cognitive skills, such as small-unit terrain reasoning, to be faster and more effective, saving significant training costs
Effective start/end date6/1/185/31/22


  • Office of Naval Research (N00014-18-1-2316 P00006)


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