Dr. David H. Tobey
Executive Director & Principal Investigator

Research shows that healthy aging requires continual development of expertise and competence throughout the lifespan. Dr. David H. Tobey leads a research team investigating and implementing new techniques for competent aging. These techniques seek to: 1) shorten learning curves during the formative years to address the growing international workforce skills crisis precipitated by the retirement of the baby boom generation; 2) facilitate lifestyle changes necessary to improve health and vitality during early and middle adulthood; and 3) reinvigorate brain growth during late adulthood to increase brain health and mitigate or reverse mental decline associated with neurological disease.

Dr. Tobey’s research into the formation of expertise led to the development of a theory of competence development and expert performance. According to this theory, competence develops after sufficient practice leads to the formation of neural clusters deep in the unconscious that execute behavioral programs without the need to recall specific instructions or procedures—the brain’s equivalent to a software applet which Dr. Tobey labeled a thinkLet. ThinkLets may also explain performance declines and memory loss due to aging. According to this theory, mental degradation occurs when the links necessary to activate habituated memory traces atrophy as engagement in arousing activity declines due to disease or withdrawal from an active lifestyle. The formation and presence of thinkLets is detected by a new psychometric technique, Potential Performance Analysis™. PPA assesses the current level and potential of competence development and identifies appropriate interventions needed to reach or maintain maximum potential.

Dr. Tobey is the founder and CEO of VivoWorks Inc., an accelerated learning company, and the Principal Investigator and Executive Director for the National CyberWatch Center at Prince George’s Community College. Previously, he was a serial entrepreneur whose companies have been listed among INC Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing private companies, set international industry standards for systems configuration and integration, and became publicly-traded companies in the early 1990s. He has also served as a consultant, officer and/or board member for private and public companies in the distribution, financial services, hospitality, information technology, life sciences, publishing, and transportation industries.

Director, National Cybersecurity Student Association

Director, Collaborations and Events

Casey W. O'Brien Profile Picture

Assistant Executive Director & Co-Principal Investigator, Dissemination

External Evaluator