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Complex Motor Learning and Police Training: Applied, Cognitive, and Clinical Perspectives.


ABSTRACT: The practices surrounding police training of complex motor skills, including the use of force, varies greatly around the world, and even over the course of an officer's career. As the nature of policing changes with society and the advancement of science and technology, so should the training practices that officers undertake at both central (i.e., police academy basic recruit training) and local (i.e., individual agency or precinct) levels. The following review is intended to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and applied practice to inform best practices for training complex motor skills that are unique and critical to law enforcement, including the use of lethal force. We begin by providing a basic understanding of the fundamental cognitive processes underlying motor learning, from novel skill acquisition to complex behaviors including situational awareness, and decision-making that precede and inform action. Motor learning, memory, and perception are then discussed within the context of occupationally relevant stress, with a review of evidence-based training practices that promote officer performance and physiological responses to stress during high-stakes encounters. A lack of applied research identifying the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying motor learning in police is inferred from a review of evidence from various clinical populations suffering from disorders of cognitive and motor systems, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and stroke. We conclude this review by identifying practical, organizational, and systemic challenges to implementing evidence-based practices in policing and provide recommendations for best practices that will promote training effectiveness and occupational safety of end-users (i.e., police trainers and officers).

SUBMITTER: Di Nota PM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6692711 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.14283/jpad.2018.19

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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