Coordination Dynamics: principles and applications

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Doel vak

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.

Inhoud vak

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.


The course entails a mixture of lectures and computer practicals. In
some lectures, there is also room for gaining experience with designing
rhythmic interlimb and sensorimotor coordination experiments and
associated data collection. The computer practicals are included to
become acquainted with the handling and interpretation of the
so-obtained data using methods of coordination dynamics (Matlab scripts
and functions are provided; emphasis is on being able to interpret
figures not on programming). These practicals are unsupervised; working
in pairs or small groups is encouraged.

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


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 for the optional midterm
exam!). The resit for the Final Exam will be late March

Vereiste voorkennis

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).


All the necessary literature is listed below in the detailed course that
will be published on Canvas. Students are expected to 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.

Algemene informatie

Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P2
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Fac. der Gedrags- en Bewegingswetensch.
Vakcoördinator dr. M. Roerdink
Examinator dr. M. Roerdink
Docenten dr. M. Roerdink

Praktische informatie

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