Dr Sean Muller

Head of Exercise Science and Senior Lecturer (Motor Learning and Control)

About me


I completed my PhD at The University of Queensland in the field of motor control and learning, specialising in expertise in sport. I have lectured on motor control and learning for more than 10 years.

My research interests include expertise in visual anticipation, transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning and training of visual anticipation in sport. I am also interested in action observation training to improve impairment and function in stroke survivors.

Sports I have conducted research with include cricket (Australian Test Cricket Team, Queensland Bulls, NSW Blues, Victorian Bushrangers, Western Warriors and Jamaican Cricket Association), baseball (Perth Heat and Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball Organisation), karate (Karate Victoria), taekwondo, Australian football (Carlton Football Club), rugby (Western Force) and field-hockey (Kookaburras and Hockeyroos).

My research and collaboration has featured in the media:

Expressions of interest are welcomed from prospective honours and post-graduate students with regards to topics such as visual-perceptual motor expertise and perceptual-motor skill learning in sport or stroke.

Doctoral and honours supervisions

PhD Principle Supervisor

2017 (In progress): Khaya Morris-Binelli. Co-supervisor: Dr. Fleur van Rens.

2015 – 2018 (Completed): Dr. John Brenton. Co-supervisor: Dr. Alasdair Dempsey.

2008 – 2012 (Completed): Dr. Simon Rosalie (RMIT University).

PhD Associate Supervisor

2014 (In progress): Benjamin Piggott (Notre Dame). Supervisors: Prof Gerard Hoyne, Dr. Paola Chivers and Dr. Sean Muller.

Masters Principle Supervisor

2014 (Completed): John Brenton. Co-supervisors: Dr. Alasdair Dempsey, Assoc. Prof. Corinne Reid.


Principle Supervisor

2018 (Completed): Laurel Hong (Psychology). Co-supervisor with Dr. Fleur van Rens.

2016 (Completed): Khaya Morris-Binelli (Psychology). Co-supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Corinne Reid, Prof. Peter Fadde.

2015 (Completed): Yasmin Gurisik (Psychology). Co-supervisors: Dr. Mark Hecimovich, Dr. Ann-Maree Vallence.

2014 (Completed): Michael Horley (Psychology). Co-supervisor: Prof. Peter Fadde.

2013 (Completed): Kita Sugg. Co-supervisors: Prof. Carolee Winstein, Dr. Alasdair Dempsey.

2013 (Completed): Alexsandar Lalovic. Co-supervisor: Dr. Alasdair Dempsey.

2012 (Completed): Christopher Moore.

Associate Supervisor

2016 (Completed): Michelle Hutchinson (Psychology). Principle Supervisor: Dr. Ann-Maree Vallence.

Psychology 4th Year Project Principle Supervisor

2014 (Completed): Michelle McLaren

Teaching area

Unit coordinator and lecturer

Acquisition of Skills and Motor Control (EXS205)

Advanced Skills and Motor Control (EXS305)

Unit coordinator

World of Sport (BDR210)

Research areas

Research Interests

  • Expertise in sport
  • Perceptual-motor skill learning in sport
  • Transfer of perceptual-motor skill learning in sport
  • Relearning of perceptual-motor skills in stroke survivors


  • North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA)

Editorial Board Member

Research Group Co-Lead

Awards and grants

My research has been funded by Cricket Australia, WACA, McCusker Charitable Foundation and Mr. Chapa.

Recent Grants

  • Cricket Australia and WACA (2018). Project title: Monitoring training load in elite cricket players of various positions and during different tasks. Grant value: $122,000.
  • Mr. Rudy Chapa, Portland, USA (2014). Project title: Pitch recognition for baseball batting talent identification and training. Grant value: $8,500.
  • Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Research Program (2008-2012). Project title: Training the visual-perceptual skills of cricket batsmen. Müller, S., Abernethy, B., & Farrow, D. Grant value: $17,500. Completed.
  • Murdoch University, Integrated Health Institute/McCusker Charitable Foundation (2011). Project title: Anticipation in sport. Müller, S. Grant value: $20,000 per annum for three years.
  • Murdoch University, Research Capacity Fund (2010). Project title: Training the visual-perceptual skills of cricket batsmen. Müller, S. Grant value: $5,050. Completed.
  • Karate Victoria (2008-2012). Project title: Anticipation in karate kumite and olympic taekwondo: The relationship between anticipatory skill and the age and expertise of the athlete. Rosalie, S. M., &  Müller, S. Grant value: $8,820. Completed.



Selected Publications

  • Piggott, B., Müller, S., Chivers, P., Burgin, M., & Hoyne, G. (in press). Coach rating combined with small-sided games provides further insight into mental toughness in sport. Frontiers in Psychology.
  • Brenton, J., Müller, S., & Harbaugh., A. G. (in press). Visual-perceptual training with motor practice of the observed movement pattern improves anticipation in emerging expert cricket batsmen. Journal of Sports Sciences.
  • Brenton, J., Müller, S., & Dempsey, A. (in press). Visual-perceptual training with acquisition of the observed motor pattern contributes to greater improvement of visual anticipation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.
  • Müller, S., van Rens, F., Brenton, J., Morris-Binelli, K., Piggott, B., Rosalie,S., & Burgin, M. (2019). Embedding of psycho-perceptual-motor skills can improve athlete assessment and training programs. Journal of Expertise, 2, 14-22.
  • Piggott, B., Müller, S., Chivers, P., Cripps, A., & Hoyne, G. (2019). Small-sided games can discriminate perceptual-cognitive-motor capability and predict disposal efficiency in match performance of skilled Australian footballers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 19, 1139-1145.
  • Piggott, B., Müller, S., Chivers, P., Papaluca, C., & Hoyne, G. (2019). Is sports science answering the call for interdisciplinary research? A systematic review. European Journal of Sport Science, 19, 267-286.
  • Morris-Binelli, K., Müller, S., & Fadde, P. (2018). Use of pitcher game footage to measure visual anticipation and its relationship to baseball batting statistics. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 6, 197-208.
  • Müller, S., Vallence, A. M., & Winstein, C. (2018). Investigation of perceptual-motor behavior across the expert athlete to disabled patient skill continuum can advance theory and practical application. Journal of Motor Behavior, 50, 697-707.
  • Brenton, J., & Müller, S. (2018). Is visual-perceptual or motor expertise critical for expert anticipation in sport? Applied Cognitive Psychology, 36, 739-746.
  • Huntley, M. K., Müller, S., & Vallence, A. M. (2018). Corticospinal excitability is modulated by distinct movement patterns during action observation. Experimental Brain Research, 236, 1067-1075.
  • Brenton, J., Müller, S., Rhodes, R., & Finch, B. (2018). Automated vision occlusion timing instrument for perception-action research. Behavior Research Methods, 50, 228-235.
  • Morris-Binelli, K., & Müller, S. (2017). Advancements to the understanding of expert visual anticipation skill in striking sports. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 4, 262-268.
  • Müller, S., Gurisik, Y., Hecimovich, M., Harbaugh., A. G., & Vallence, A. M. (2017). Individual differences in short-term anticipation training for high-speed interceptive skill. Journal of Motor Learning and Development, 5, 160-176.
  • Müller, S., Fadde, P. J., & Harbaugh., A. G. (2017). Adaptability of expert anticipation in baseball batting. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35, 1682-1690.
  • Brenton, J., Müller, S., & Mansingh, A. (2016). Discrimination of visual anticipation in skilled cricket batsmen. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28, 483-488.
  • Müller, S., & Fadde, P. J. (2016). The relationship between visual anticipation and baseball batting game statistics. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 28, 49-61.
  • Müller, S., Brenton, J., & Rosalie, S. M. (2015). Methodological considerations for investigating expert interceptive skill in in-situ settings. Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology, 4, 254-267.
  • Sugg, K., Müller, S., Winstein, C., Hathorn, D., & Dempsey, A. R. (2015). Does action observation training with immediate physical practice improve hemiparetic upper limb function in chronic stroke? Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair, 29(9), 807-817.
  • Müller, S., McLaren, M., Appleby, B., & Rosalie, S. M. (2015). Does expert perceptual anticipation transfer to a dissimilar domain? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(3), 631-638.
  • Müller, S., Brenton, J., Dempsey, A. R., Harbaugh., A. G., & Reid, C. (2015). Individual differences in highly skilled visual perceptual-motor striking skill. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77(5), 1726-1736.
  • Müller, S., Lalović, A., Dempsey, A. R., Rosalie, S. M., & Harbaugh., A. G. (2014). Pick-up of early visual information to guide kinetics and kinematics within a group of highly skilled baseball batters. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 119(2), 347-362.
  • Müller, S., & Abernethy, B. (2014). An expertise approach to training anticipation using temporal occlusion in a natural skill setting. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 9, 295-312.
  • Rosalie, S. M., & Müller, S. (2014). Expertise facilitates the transfer of anticipation skill across domains. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(2), 319-334.
  • Moore, C., G., & Müller, S. (2014). Transfer of expert visual anticipation to a similar domain. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67(1), 186-196.

Peer Reviewed Conference Paper

  • Fadde, P., & Müller, S (2016). Testing pitch recognition to improve talent identification and player development. Poster at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Boston, USA.

Peer Reviewed Conference Abstracts

  • Brenton, J., Müller, S., & Dempsey, A. (2017). Training and transfer of visual anticipation in skilled cricket batsmen. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Oral presentation at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, San Diego, USA.
  • Sugg, K., Dempsey, A. R., Müller, S., & Winstein, C. (2015). Use of three-dimensional motion analysis to investigate motor learning from action observation training with immediate physical practice in chronic stroke. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Oral presentation at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Portland, USA.