Biol 5601 : Interdisciplinary Approaches in Motor Control
The area of motor control is a highly inter- or multi-disciplinary one having drawn its concepts and questions from disciplines from philosophy, neurophysiology and control theory. The course will trace the major disciplinary approaches and their predominant questions and tools, following their chronological development, starting from the early beginnings in philosophy and experimental psychology, information theory, and cybernetics to the more recent advances in control theory and nonlinear dynamics. The course is structured into 6 sections, where each of these areas will be introduced with an outline of its theoretical framework, followed by an overview over the questions it brought into motor control, and concluded with an indepth discussion of representative papers.
Biol 2299: Inquiries in Movement Neuroscience
Control of Human Movement: Skill and Loss of Skill in Disease
How do humans manage their actions and interactions with the physical world? How do we learn the many complex skills that make up our daily life, such as drinking a cup of coffee or skateboarding? This question becomes even more vital when such skills are lost, such as in Parkinson Disease or after a stroke. To develop interventions that restore or reverse the degradation of functional behavior requires a rigorous understanding of the healthy neuromotor system. The field of movement neuroscience aims to reveal fundamental principles of how the brain controls our movements. The systems approach uses behavioral, electromyographic, and brain imaging methods to analyze human movements. The class combines lectures with a discussion-based approach and tours of the Action Lab that shows research methods and ongoing research. A central part of the class is that students develop their own research project that will be guided in class discussions and presented on the poster day.