Dr. David H. Tobey
Co-Principal Investigator & Director, Research and Assessments

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 an Assistant Professor at Indiana University South Bend, founder and CEO of VivoWorks Inc., an accelerated learning company, and the Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Research and Assessments for the National CyberWatch Center. 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.





External Evaluator

Director, Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) & Senior Advisor

Casey W. O'Brien Profile Picture

Executive Director and Principal Investigator

Director, Scholarship for Service (SFS) Four-Year & Senior Advisor

Co-Principal Investigator & Director, Research and Assessments

Director, Finance & Center Manager

Director, National Cybersecurity Student Association

Director, Marketing & Communications

Co-Principal Investigator & Senior Advisor

Virtual Lab Manager

Senior Advisor