Biomechanics and Neural Control of Human Movement

Course content

The objective of the course is to introduce students to original scientific articles in the fields of biomechanics and movement neuroscience with a focus on state-of-the-art methods and mechanisms in basic control of human movement. The focus will be to relate biomechanical measures of human movement to appropriate neuroscientific measures, and thereby derive possible physiological mechanisms involved in control of movement under relevant constraints.

The student will be introduced to physiological and experimental models of human movements to assess underlying neuroscientific mechanisms related to control of movements. Students will perform a practical assignment addressing a specific and classical problem combining biomechanics and neural control of movements. The student will be introduced to biomechanical and neuroscience data analysis in relation to the addressed problem and methods. Through reading of articles, student presentations and discussions, students shall achieve a critical understanding of problems of basic and applied movement neuroscience research concerning the choice of methods to address specific problems and interpretations of underlying physiological mechanisms based on both theoretical and physiological models.

There will be special focus on the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of the part of the central nervous system that control the biomechanics of human movements under relevant constraints. Furthermore, the objective is that students acquire a thorough overview of existing knowledge and methods of modern biomechanics and movement neuroscience with a focus on critical evaluation of choice of methods so that they may themselves initiate independent scientific projects at master thesis level.

Education

MSc Programme in Biomedical Engineering

Learning outcome

At the end of the course, the student shall be able to:

Knowledge

  • Describe the principles of the different methods used in the studies of neural control of movements in humans including physiological and biomechanical measurements.
  • Describe the mechanisms involved in neural control of simple and complex movements including analysis of gait biomechanics.
  • Describe the role of sensory feedback in neural control of movement and gait.
  • Describe the mechanisms in feedforward and feedback control of movements based on neuroscience and biomechanical experiments.
  • Knowledge about open science data repositories.

 

Skills

  • Analyze data from human neuroscience demonstration experiments.
  • Combine data analyses from biomechanics and human neuroscience experiments.
  • Interpret data from biomechanics and human neuroscience experiments.
  • Present data analyses from biomechanics and human neuroscience experiments.
  • Select and analyze open science data with relevance to a scientific problem within neural control of movements.

 

Competencies

  • Be able to evaluate the scientific quality of scientific articles
  • Present the contents of a scientific article for fellow students
  • Evaluate the quality of interpretations of derived physiological mechanism based on choices of methods made in scientific articles.
  • Discuss possible strategies that can be used to characterize specific neurological disorders and compare these with similar characteristic in healthy participants.
  • Discuss possible strategies that can be used to characterize correlation or causality in movement neuroscience experiments and mechanistic interpretations.
  • Evaluate biomechanical measurements of movements in combination with neuroscientific methods and discuss their respective advantages and limitations.

Lectures, student presentations, practical exercises and data analysis

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
10 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 30 minutes
The oral exam is based on the written assignment.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

To achieve the maximum grade of 12, the student shall be able to:

Knowledge

  • Describe the principles of one of the neuroscience methods that has been selected for the topic of the report.
  • Describe the neurophysiological principles and biomechanics involved in the neuroscientific problem selected for the report.
  • Described the neurophysiological principles and biomechanics involved in basic human movement control.

 

Skills

  • Analyze and interpret data from a simple neuroscience experimental data set, either the one demonstrated during the course or a freely selected data set from an open science data repository.
  • Present neuroscientific problems in a concise and logical way and discuss relevant limitations of the selected methods and subsequent interpretations of the results.
  • Combine data from both biomechanics and neural control of movement studies.  

 

Competencies

  • Evaluate the quality of interpretations of derived physiological mechanism based on choices of methods made in scientific articles and own acquired data and interpretations.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 75
  • Preparation
  • 199,5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 275,0