Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202100144
Concepts in Human Movement Sciences
Course info
Course module202100144
Credits (ECTS)6
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. N. Strisciuglio
Externe Docent
K.K. Lemaire
dr. N. Strisciuglio
Contactperson for the course
dr. N. Strisciuglio
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes

The student knows key coordination concepts in contemporary HMS, including information, perception-action coupling and synergy. The student understands these concepts and can explain their relation to coordination issues and research. The student knows the mechanical concepts that apply to control of joint position and movement, in particular equilibrium, stability, robustness, performance, and observability. The student understands these concepts and can explain how they are related to clinical problems and to motor control in patients with joint disorders. The student knows the physiological concepts of exercise intensity and workload in sports and clinical research and training, in particular, (sub-) maximal force/power generation, (sub)maximal energy expenditure, anaerobic threshold and critical power. The student understands these concepts and can explain how they are related to sports and rehabilitation research and practice.


In this course, the students are acquainted with biophysical and coordination concepts that underlie current debates in HMS. One part of this course deals with the coordination concepts of HMS. Human movement is a complex behavior. To interpret this complex behavior, the scientific literature uses concepts that are rather complex themselves. Examples of such concepts are information, synergy, perception-action coupling. In this course, questions such as "What do these concepts mean exactly?" and "How do these concepts help us to understand the behavior we observe?" will be addressed. A second part of the course deals with biomechanical concepts in particular with (in-) stability of joints and joint movement. Instability is often used in the clinical setting to describe the state of the joint after injury or in degenerative disorders. The term is often poorly defined, which leads to confusion in the communication between disciplines, e.g. between physiotherapists and orthopedic surgeons. Mechanics and control theory provides a rigorous framework for describing joint function. The relevance of this conceptual framework for the clinical context and the implications for diagnosis and treatment will be discussed. A third part of the course deals with physiological concepts in particular with the use of exercise intensity and relative workload. The relative workload is often used to induce similar loading of persons in sports and clinical studies, either to measure endurance or to induce a certain training stimulus. Relative workloads as a percentage of maximal force/power or energy utilization (oxygen uptake) are used in various circumstances. While the choice for a given variable is essential for the result, it will be discussed whether the proper variables are chosen for the specific goals.

Teaching Methods

  • 40.5 contact hours, divided in:
    • Lectures 19 * 2 hours
    • Exam 2.5 hours
  • 119.5  hours self-study

The course consists of 3 series of lectures dealing with coordination (5 lectures), biomechanical (7 lectures), and physiological (7 lectures) concepts, respectively. In the first lecture of each series, a general introduction will be given. 
In subsequent lectures, the formal concepts will be introduced and explained and related to key research and/or applications in sports and health. In the last lecture of each series, questions by the students will be discussed.

Written test with open-ended questions, with equally weighted questions on the 3 parts of the course content.          

Entry Requirements

  • The student should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the human musculoskeletal anatomy as described for example in Human Anatomy. EN Marieb, J. Mallatt, Benjamin Cummings, 3rd edition, ISBN: 0-8053-5335-6, chapters 1.1-1.16; 4.88-4.102; 4.99-4.102; 9.212-9.239; 10.244-10.253;11.266-11.270.
  • The student should have a basic knowledge and understanding of biomechanics as described for example in: Fundamentals of Biomechanics. Equilibrium, Motion and Deformation. M. Nordin and N. Ozkaya; Human Kinetics, ISBN 0387982833, chapters 1-5.
  • The student should have a basic knowledge and understanding of exercise and muscle physiology as described in for example W.D. McArdle, F.I. Katch, V.L. Katch: Exercise Physiology: energy, nutrition & human performance, 7th edition (2010) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, ISBN 1608318591, chapters 7-11, 15-17, 21.   
Lecturer VU
Janssen T.,
Participating study
Master Computer Science
Required materials
Recommended materials
Course material
Research articles, review papers and a syllabus will be made available at the start of the course.
Instructional modes

Project unsupervised


Project, Exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal