State of the art Research Topics in Motor Learning and Motor Control: Part 2 (B-KUL-L00J2A)

3.0 ECTS English 32 First termFirst term Advanced Cannot be taken as part of an examination contract
POC Lichamelijke opvoeding en bewegingswetenschappen

The objective of this course is to gain experience in motor control and learning research by critically reviewing the scientific approaches and available evidence underlying current theories, and by active participation in several experiments. Students will gain a deeper understanding and hands-on-experience in various techniques such as kinematic registration, electromyography, tendon vibration, visuomotor distortions, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Moreover, basic research paradigms and their interpretation as well as potential drawbacks will be discussed on the basis of seminal publications. Such basic paradigms refer to measurements of motor plasticity, adaptation, movement perturbation, transfer designs, dual-task paradigms, simple and complex RT tasks, coordination paradigms, postural control tasks, and neurophysiological measurements with TMS and fMRI.

After the course, students should be able:
1) to point on strengths and weaknesses in a given study regarding motor control and learning, based on critical review of hypotheses, experimental paradigms, selected measurement techniques, data processing and interpretation of the results.
2) to conduct a basic experiment including formulation of the hypothesis, selection of appropriate measurement techniques and experimental conditions, data processing and interpretation of results.

This course also  contributes to:
- Behave properly as an experimenter or research leader
- Present fluently  research data to peers  using ppt (slides in English, presentation in English)
- Present a poster during an (inter)national congress of Kinesiology
- Maintain appropriate contacts with colleagues and participants
- Work in teams, organize research activities and take on responsibilities

Previous knowledge:
- The student has basic knowledge about the principles of motor learning and control
- The student is familiar with basic software for entering data, managing files, producing graphical representations, and for preparing (powerpoint) presentations
- The student has basic knowledge regarding research methodology in motor control and learning

Prerequisites credit contract
Students with one of the following degrees are allowed to follow this course :
- Bachelor in physical education and kinesiology
- Bachelor in rehabilitation sciences and physiotherapy
- Bachelor in medicine
- Bachelor in biomedical sciences
- Bachelor in pharmaceutical sciences
AND has taken courses (or takes courses simultaneously) on:
- State of the art research topics in motor learning and motor control: part1
- Programming and automated signal analysis

Mixed prerequisite:
You may only take this course if you comply with the prerequisites. Prerequisites can be strict or flexible, or can imply simultaneity. A degree level can be also be a prerequisite.
Explanation:
STRICT: You may only take this course if you have passed or applied tolerance for the courses for which this condition is set.
FLEXIBEL: You may only take this course if you have previously taken the courses for which this condition is set.
SIMULTANEOUS: You may only take this course if you also take the courses for which this condition is set (or have taken them previously).
DEGREE: You may only take this course if you have obtained this degree level.


(SIMULTANEOUS(L09I5A))

The codes of the course units mentioned above correspond to the following course descriptions:
L09I5A : State of the art Research Topics in Motor Learning and Motor Control: Part 1

This course unit is a prerequisite for taking the following course units:
L05I2A : Masterproef lichamelijke opvoeding en bewegingswetenschappen: deel 2

Activities

1.0 ects. Practical Experience and Training in Methods and Designs used in Motor Control and Learning Research (B-KUL-L00J3a)

1.0 ECTSEnglishFormat: Practical12 First termFirst term
POC Lichamelijke opvoeding en bewegingswetenschappen

Hands-on experience in basic research methods of motor control and learning.
Registration and analysis of kinematic data, EMG, and TMS in the context of various paradigms, such as coordination tasks, RT tasks, and control and learning experiments.
Integrate behavioural and neurophysiological techniques in paradigms focusing on eye-hand coordination, eye-hand interactions, visual perturbations and illusions, proprioceptive perturbations, motor imagery, manual asymmetries and transfer effects, perception-action interaction, flash-lag effect, decision making, expert performance, hazard perception.
In addition to behaviour in normal subjects, also abnormal performance of patients with neurological deficits will be examined.

Handouts
PPT-presentations via Toledo

Hands-on computer skills
Data acquisition and data management skills

1.0 ects. Reading and Discussion of Seminal Papers in Motor Control and Learning (B-KUL-L00J4a)

1.0 ECTSEnglishFormat: Practical10 First termFirst term
POC Lichamelijke opvoeding en bewegingswetenschappen

Discussion of classical studies in motor control and learning, using a combination of behavioral and neuro-scientific techniques.
Students will learn how to understand strengths and weaknesses in an exemplary study regarding motor control and learning, based on critical review of hypotheses, experimental paradigm, selected measurement techniques, data processing and interpretation of the results.
Students have to prepare each theoretical class by critically reading the selected paper and writing up a personal short report for categories such as formulation of hypothesis, type of experimental paradigm, selected measurement technique, outcome measures, data processing and interpretation of the results.
Seminal experiments and key findings are discussed in motor plasticity, augmented feedback, transfer, simple and complex motor responses, aging, expertise, expert perception and performance, coordination and postural control, brain activation as well as excitability of the motor system.

Research papers in international journals
Texts and course notes on motor control and learning
Textbooks from which the students each present one chapter using ppt

In small teams, students will select a topic, read a seminal research article, prepare a powerpoint presentation, and present their work to peers in a seminar, and organize the discussion in the class. 

Students learn to adopt an experimental perspective and take a critical look at experimental work. They read a research article, extract the research background and hypotheses, report about the obtained results and put these in the broader perspective of the research literature.
Students learn to develop a critical look at exemplary research studies and attempt to provide arguments for improvement and optimization based on a critical analysis of strengths and weaknesses.

1.0 ects. Design, Data Registration and Analysis of an Exemplary Motor Control Experiment (B-KUL-L00J5a)

1.0 ECTSEnglishFormat: Practical10 First termFirst term
POC Lichamelijke opvoeding en bewegingswetenschappen

Application of the theoretical knowledge: from hypothesis formulation to hypothesis testing and data collection.
Planning and performing  typical motor control/learning experiments.

In small teams, students will plan an experiment, recruit participants. acquire experimental data, analyze the obtained experimental data, perform statistical analysis and prepare a report. Students will report about the results of the experiments in the classroom and will organize the discussion of the study. This will be done under the direct supervision of a motor control/learning expert.

Students will get hands on experience with setting up and planning a hypothesis-driven experiment in small groups, construct a solid experimental design, selection of appropriate measurement tools & outcome measures. This will allow them to obtain concrete laboratory experience and develop personal skills directed to experimental research.In small teams, students will plan an experiment, recruit participants. acquire experimental data, analyze the obtained experimental data, perform statistical analysis and prepare a report. Students will report about the results of the experiments in the classroom and will organize the discussion of the study. This will be done under the direct supervision of a motor control/learning expert.

Students will get hands on experience with setting up and planning a hypothesis-driven experiment in small groups, construct a solid experimental design, selection of appropriate measurement tools & outcome measures. This will allow them to obtain concrete laboratory experience and develop personal skills directed to experimental research.

Evaluation

Evaluation: State of the art Research Topics in Motor Learning and Motor Control: Part 2 (B-KUL-L20J2a)

Type : Partial or continuous assessment with (final) exam during the examination period
Description of evaluation : Oral, Paper/Project, Report, Presentation, Skills test

a) Evaluation of the presentation of seminal papers in motor control and learning. Students have to give a short (20min) powerpoint presentation in which they will report about the data obtained in one research paper. This presentation will be graded and students will receive feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of their presentation. (25%)
b) Evaluation of the application of methods and designs used in motor control and learning research. Students are evaluated for their cooperation/interaction during practical sessions, and this part will be graded. (25%)
c) Evaluation of the design, data registration and analysis of an exemplary experiment. Students have to run an experiment and prepare a short report stating the research question, experimental setup, used methods, data analysis and results. (25%)
d) During the final exam, students present and discuss individually an original experiment that they would like to conduct if they would be granted the opportunity. On a 2-page report, they will provide the research background, hypotheses, methods, statistical analyses and make a prediction about the expected results. This report will be graded. Students are also examined with respect to the topics covered in the seminar. (25%)

In order to receive a final score, all evaluation element sneed to be completed. If not, the overall evaluation is “not completed” (NA).

The students are expected to be acquainted with the education and the examination regulations of the KU Leuven and the faculty additions.