Human Motor Learning and Control (EXSS5050)


This unit takes both a behavioural and a neurophysiological approach to the acquisition and execution of skilled motor actions. These approaches overlap, with the behavioural approach being primarily directed at the structures and processes underlying movement without considering their physical basis, while the neurophysiological approach is primarily directed at the neuromuscular machinery and the functional neural connections that govern movement. The information processing and energetic capacities that underpin motor performance are examined; such as memory, attention, decision-making, movement planning, speed-accuracy trade-off, force control, economy of energy, coordination, multi-task performance, automaticity, lateralisation, sense of effort and resources, as well as expert-novice skill differences. The features of learning that can be manipulated to promote motor learning are also examined, such as learner motivation, methods of instruction, practice and modelling conditions, and types of instructional feedback. The applications to teaching motor skills, coaching and rehabilitation are considered. Finally, and across the unit, ecological and motor program theoretical approaches to motor control learning are integrated. Students will read relevant research and theoretical material and be expected to report and interpret their findings and contribute to class discussion.

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Further unit of study information


1x2-hr lecture/week, 2-hr seminars/week


Essay (25%), oral presentation (25%), written group report (30%), and written exam (20%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.