L. James Smart

Leonard J Smart

Associate Professor/Chief Departmental Advisor 

Contact Information:

Email: smartlj@miamioh.edu
Phone: (513) 529-1656
102H/318 Psychology Building
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Teaching Interests:

I believe that teaching is composed of four functions: providing information, knowledge, and guidance about the topic being taught, honing students’ ability to evaluate this knowledge and seek further knowledge, illuminating the relevance of the course material for everyday life, and encouraging students to seek opportunities for further work in the field through research and mentoring. With these functions in mind, my approach to the classroom setting has been to set the course content in the context of questions to be answered or problems to be solved by the class with my help. My goal is to empower students by not just giving them the “answer” but helping to develop the skills that would allow them to find or generate “answers” on their own

Research Interests:

What happens when the perceptual information obtained does not support action or actions that the organism is familiar with? My research involves examining the consequences of disrupting the perception-action cycle on participants’ ability to successfully regulate their behavior. In particular, I am interested in how functional relationships between perception and action are regained (adaptation) and the cost of not being able to do so (motion sickness). My research bridges interests in motor control, perception, and Human Factors.

Representative Publications:

Wolf, R. C., Thurmer, H. P., Berg, W. P., Cook IV, H. E., & Smart, L. J. (in press). A Pilot Feasibility Study of the Effect of the Alexander Technique on Muscle Activation, Movement Kinematics and Performance Quality in Collegiate Violinists and Violists. Medical Problems of Performing Artists

Hassebrock, J. A., Cook, H. E., & Smart, L. J. (2015). Coordinative dynamics: The role of task difficultly during interpersonal coordination. In J. A. Weast-Knapp, M. Malone, & D. H. Abney (Eds.) Studies in Perception & Action XIII (57- 60), New York: Psychology Press.

Mark, L. S., Ye, L., & Smart, L. J. (2015). Perceiving the Nesting of Affordances for Complex Goal-Directed Actions. In Robert Hoffman, Peter Hancock, Mark Scerbo, Raja Parasuraman, and James Szalma (eds.), Cambridge Handbook of Applied Perception Research (vol. 1). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press

Smart, L. J., Otten, E. W., Strang, A. J., Littman, E. M., & Cook, H. E. (2014). Influence of complexity and coupling of optic flow on visually induced motion sickness. Ecological Psychology 26 (4), 301-324.

Courses Taught:

Perception, Action & Cognition, 
Motor Control, 
Research Methods and Design, 
Human Factors,
Psychology of Virtual Environments & Gaming, 
Psychology of Design, 
Creativity, Innovation, & Design Thinking

Research Lab Information:

Smart Postural Control & Coordination Lab (SPoCC)

Website: http://blogs.miamioh.edu/spocc/