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Mark Williams, Ph.D.

David M. Huebner, Ph.D.

Chair, Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation
Professor, Kinesiology

Contact Information



Dr. Williams moved to the University of Utah to take up a position as Professor and Chair, Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation in August 2016. Dr. Williams has previously held senior leadership positions in the UK (Head of Life Sciences, Brunel University London) and Australia (Associate Dean for Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney).   

His research interests focus on the neural and psychological mechanisms underpinning the acquisition and development of perceptual-cognitive and perceptual-motor skills. He has published almost 180 journal articles in peer-reviewed outlets in numerous fields including exercise and sports science (e.g., Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Sports Medicine), experimental psychology (e.g., Acta Psychologica, British Journal of Psychology, Experimental Psychology, Visual Cognition, Journal of Experimental Psychology), neuroscience (Neuroscience Letters, Human Brain Mapping, Neuroimage) and medicine (The Lancet, British Medical Journal, Medical Education). He has written 15 books, almost 80 book chapters, 60 professional articles, 91 journal abstracts, and has delivered almost 200 keynote and invited lectures in over 30 countries. His H index on Google Scholar is 64, i10 is 140 with almost 16,000 citations.

He is Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sports Science and Executive Editor for the journal Human Movement Science. Also, he sits on the editorial boards of the Scandinavian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and Frontiers of Cognition, and Frontiers in Psychology (Performance Science). Moreover, he has acted as a Guest Editor of special issues for prestigious journals such as Journal of Sport Sciences, Journal of Motor Behavior, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

He has mentored nine Post-Doctoral Research Fellows and supervised almost 50 doctoral students. He has acted as a reviewer for more than 50 journals in the exercise and sports sciences, experimental psychology, education and behavioral neurosciences and over 15 funding agencies in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has been the recipient of prestigious Distinguished Scholar Awards from the International Society of Sport Psychology and the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. He has been a Visiting Professor at Florida State University, University of Florida, University of Calgary, University of Brighton, University of British Columbia, University of the Mediterranean, University of Salzburg, University of Leuven, the Norwegian Institute of Sport, and Queensland University of Technology.

He has received more than $6 million in external funding from research councils in Australia (Australian Research Council) and the UK (Economic and Social Research Council; Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; British Academy; Royal Society), industry partners, such as Nike and Umbro, as well as governing bodies and professional sports such as FIFA and UEFA.



B.Sc. (Hons) Sports Science, Department of Exercise and Sports Science, Crewe & Alsager Faculty, Manchester Metropolitan University
Ph.D. Movement Science/Experimental Psychology, Department of Movement Science, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool

Selected Publications

Denis, D., Rowe, R. Williams, A. M., & Milne, E. (2016). The role of cortical sensorimotor oscillations in action anticipation. Neuroimage. Published, 10/2016.

Ellmers, T. J., Machado, G., Wong, T. W. L., Zhu, F., Williams, A. M., & Young, W. R. (2016). A validation of neural co-activation as a measure of attentional focus in a postural task. Gait and Posture, 50, 229-231. Published, 09/2016.

Cocks, A.J., Jackson, R.C., Bishop, D.T. and Williams, A.M. (2016) Anxiety, anticipation, and contextual information: A test of Attentional Control Theory. Cognition and Emotion, 30, 6, 1037-1048. Published, 08/2016.

Vater, C., Jackson, R.C., Roca, A. and Williams, A.M. (2016) The effects of anxiety on anticipation and visual search in dynamic, time-constrained situations. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 5, 3, 179-192. Published, 08/2016.

Young, W.R., Oloniula, M., Masters, R.S.W., Dimitradis, S., and Williams, A.M. (2016). Examining links between anxiety, reinvestment and walking when talking by older adults during adaptive gait. Experimental Brain Research, 234, 1, 161-172. Published, 01/2016.

Broadbent, D.P., Causer, J., Ford, P.R. and Williams, A.M. (2015) The contextual interference effect in perceptual-cognitive skills training. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, 47, 6, 1243-1250. Published, 06/2015.

Young, W. and Williams, A.M. (2015) Hows fear of falling can increase fall-risk in older adults: Applying psychological theory to practical observation. Gait and Posture, 41, 1, 71-2. Published, 01/2015.

Balser, N., Lorey, B., Pilgramm, S., Naumann, T., Kindermann, S., Stark, R.,

Zentgraf, K., Williams, A.M. and Munzert, J. (2014) The influence of expertise on brain activation of the action observation network during anticipation of tennis and volleyball serves. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 568, 1-13. Published, 08/2014.

Coughlan, E., Williams, A.M. and Ford., P. (2014) A novel test of deliberate practice theory: how experts learn. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 40, 2, 449-458. Published, 03/2014.

Balser, N., Lorey, B., Bischoff, M, Zentgraf, K., Williams, A.M. and Munzert, J. (2014) Prediction of human actions: Expertise and task-related effects on neural activation of the action observation network. Human Brain Mapping, 35, 4016-4034. Published, 01/2014.

Last Updated: 6/4/21