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PHSE504 Motor Control

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

A study of the processes underlying the learning, regulation and control of movement. Students will be expected to attain a higher level of understanding of motor processes than in PHSE 304.

In this paper we will work together to learn many of the core concepts underlying the control of movements that we take for granted every day. The lectures and laboratory sessions are structured in a way that allows you to take control of your learning and, through a variety of projects, develop your problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. You will be introduced to new concepts and skills and asked to master them in a collaborative environment (except in the exam!) You will be asked to focus on producing a high standard rather than a large volume of work.
Excellent grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an outstanding ability to acquire new laboratory skills, logically solve complex neuroscientific problems, comprehend and critically evaluate neurophysiological concepts and experiments and, most importantly, present their ideas clearly and concisely. You will not produce any traditional lab reports in this paper. Instead, we will focus on one section of a report at a time and learn to do it well.

Paper title Motor Control
Paper code PHSE504
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2018
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,590.98
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,357.07

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PHSE 202 and PHSE 203
PHSE 304
Limited to
BPhEd(Hons), PGDipOE, PGDipPE, MDanceSt, MPhEd
Suitable for students interested in human motor control, behavioural or systems neuroscience, physiology, biomechanics or exercise science
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Jonathan Shemmell
Paper Structure
The paper is structured as 13 weekly topics covering movement control from involuntary reflex regulation to the voluntary production of complex movement and nervous system adaptations underlying learning.
Teaching Arrangements
Completion of laboratory exercises is compulsory.
Latash, M. L. (2008). Neurophysiological basis of movement. (2nd Edition), Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • To acquire an understanding of human motor control through knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms subserving control of human movement
  • To substantially improve students' problem-solving and presentation skills
  • To work with a team to produce written work of publishable standard

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Not offered in 2018

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system