Coordination Dynamics: principles and applications


Course Objective

The coordination dynamics approach is pursued to study how patterns of
coordinated movement come about, persist and change as a function task
constraints, expertise and pathology. The student is acquainted with the
key principles, concepts and methods of coordination dynamics. The
student can explain these aspects in a qualitative manner. The student
can interpret and discuss scientific literature in the area of
coordination dynamics. The student
is able to indicate how these aspects may contribute to assessments and
interventions in the context of sports and rehabilitation.

Course Content

Coordination dynamics is governed on the one hand by principles of
self-organization, and on the other hand by intentionality, perceptual
information and explicit knowledge. Coordination patterns exist at
multiple levels: 1. dynamics within or between body segments of a moving
person; 2. dynamics between moving segments of multiple persons and 3.
dynamics between person and external events, as well as between persons.
Coordination dynamics provides a framework to study the nature of
pathological, normal and expert movements by assessing stability and
loss of stability of coordination patterns as a function of training and

The first part of the course provides an overview of the key principles,
concepts and methods of coordination dynamics by adopting a 3-stage
empirical approach: 1. gaining background theoretical information
through lectures and literature, 2. gaining hands-one experience by
participating in experiments, formulating hypotheses and analyzing
data, 3. gaining a thorough understanding of the key aspects
of coordination dynamics by linking theory and practice.

The second part of the course focuses on the application of coordination
dynamics in applied sports and rehabilitation settings, again by
adopting a 3-stage
empirical approach. In the context of rehabilitation, specific emphasis
will be placed on interventions based on environmental coupling aimed at
facilitating desired coordination patterns and/or stabilizing existing
unstable coordination patterns. In the context of sports, the nature of
interactions between two or more athletes will be the focal point,
including their cooperative and competitive effects on pattern formation
and coordinative stability.

Teaching Methods

Contact hours comprise:
Lectures: 13 * 1 h and 45 mins
Computer Practicals: 5 * 2.00 hrs
Optional Midterm Exam: 1 h and 45 mins
Final Exam: 2 hours and 15 (or 45) mins

Self study: 132 hrs

Method of Assessment

To promote learning throughout the course, students are given the
opportunity to conduct a midterm exam, which is an optional closed-book
exam. An example midterm exam is available on Canvas. The final exam
(closed-book) consists of open questions covering lecture material,
course literature, and content and discussion of computer practicals.
The final grade is established with an accuracy of 0.5 and is determined
by the optional midterm exam (50%) and the final exam (50%, for which at
least a score of 5.5 is needed to pass the course). In case the grade of
the optional midterm exam is lower than that of the final exam, only the
grade obtained for the Final Exam will count (i.e., Midterm Exam [0%],
Final Exam [100%]). The same holds for students who did not complete the
midterm exam (i.e., there will be no resit of the optional midterm

Entry Requirements

Basic understanding of statistics (What is a standard deviation?), sine
waves (What is the amplitude, offset, frequency and phase?), integral
and differential calculus (What is the derivative of a sine wave?) and
Matlab (Can you run a script?). Please note that Matlab scripts and
functions are provided and so programming skills are not required for
the computer practicals. Computer practicals are included to become
acquainted with the handling and interpretation of the experimental data
and associated coordination dynamics outcome measures).


A selection of relevant book chapters and articles. All the necessary
literature is listed in the detailed course schedule and available
online. I assume that students have studied the selected literature
prior to the lectures (except for the first lecture). Lecture slides are
made available via Canvas before or immediately after the lecture. All
necessary material for the computer practicals are made available on
Canvas as soon as the data is collected and pre-processed. Please, keep
track of announcements.

General Information

Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator dr. M. Roerdink
Examiner dr. M. Roerdink
Teaching Staff dr. M. Roerdink

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Computer lab, Practical, Meeting