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  • First Announcement



    A multi-disciplinary symposium, to be held at the Department of
    Exercise and Sport Science, Alsager Campus, Manchester Metropolitan
    University, UK, Monday 30 October 2000.

    At various levels of analysis, variability in the movement system is
    becoming increasingly significant to theoreticians and practitioners.
    It is clear that a multidisciplinary perspective is needed to
    interpret its role during goal-directed activity. What are the
    implications of these theoretical developments? How do they help us to
    understand the nature of brain processes, perceptual-motor
    development, movement system dynamics, physiological system
    adaptations, and their implications for biomechanical measurement and
    practical interventions strategies such as coaching?

    This one-day symposium, organised by the Department of Exercise and
    Sport Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, brings together
    world class experts in various sub-disciplines for the purposes of
    discussing the concept of variability at different levels of the
    movement system. The following sub-disciplines will form the backdrop
    for the meeting:

    _ Psychology
    _ Movement Science
    _ Nonlinear Dynamics
    _ Coaching Pedagogy
    _ Physiology
    _ Biomechanics
    _ Neurosciences
    _ Perceptual-Motor Development

    Planned Symposium Timetable:

    9.30 am: COFFEE and Registration, Department of Exercise and Sport

    10.00 am: Introduction and Welcome by the Head of Department of
    Exercise and Sport Science, Les Burwitz (Manchester Metropolitan

    10.05 am: Symposium Overview: Keith Davids and Simon Bennett
    (Manchester Metropolitan University)

    10.15-10.50am: Karl Newell (University of Pennsylvania, USA): The
    Structure of Movement Variability

    10.55-11.25pm: Geert Savelsbergh (Free University of Amsterdam,
    Netherlands, and Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): Variability
    and selection in the development of perception and action

    COFFEE and informal discussion: 11.35-11.50

    11.55-12.25pm: Lieke Peper (Free University of Amsterdam,
    Netherlands): Movement variability and prospective control in
    interceptive actions

    12.30-1.00pm: Craig Handford (University of Loughborough, UK): The
    role of movement variability and stability in the Volleyball Serve:
    Implications for Practice Organisation

    LUNCH: 1.05pm-1.45pm

    1.55-2.25: Alberto Minetti (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK):
    Antagonist muscles characteristics help to reduce mechanical
    variability during joint stiffening

    2.30-3.00pm: Carlo Reggiani (University of Padova, Italy): Cellular
    and molecular basis of heterogeneity of contractile performance in
    human muscles.

    3.35-4.05: Rolf Ingvaldsen (NTN University, Trondheim, Norway):
    Variability: When something is the same but different!

    TEA and informal discussion: 4.10-4.30pm

    4.35-5.00pm: Walter Freeman (University of California at Berkeley,
    USA): Self-organizing brain dynamics and the construction of movement

    5.05-5.30pm: General Questions and Discussion involving Speakers and
    Audience; Symposium Closure.

    POSTERS and BAR: 5.35-6.30pm

    Optional Extra: Evening Social Event: Dinner and discussion

    Proposed Organisation and Structure
    The multidisciplinary meeting breaks down naturally into two parts. In
    the morning, the focus will be on examining the role of constraints on
    the movement system, and the implications for perception and action
    and skill acquisition. Karl Newell will discuss recent advances in the
    structure of movement variability and how these developments influence
    our understanding of motor system function. Geert Savelsbergh will
    propose the idea of perceptual degrees of freedom and examine evidence
    for the concept in young children. Lieke Peper will discuss
    variability in relation to the prospective control of interceptive
    actions. Craig Handford will conclude the morning session by examining
    the implications of recent advances in understanding variability for
    models of learning and coaching in sport, using the volleyball serve
    as a task vehicle.

    After lunch, discussion of the role and implications of movement
    system variability at different levels of analysis is undertaken from
    a multidisciplinary viewpoint. Alberto Minetti will examine
    characteristics of antagonist muscles in reducing variability at the
    level of mechanical force production, and Carlo Reggiani will examine
    current understanding of variability in contractile properties of
    muscle using single fibre analysis. Walter Freeman will present a
    neurodynamical approach to the study of self-organising brain
    processes and Rolf Ingvaldsen will outline how individual differences
    has been construed in major psychological frameworks including
    Behaviourism, Freudian theory, Cognitive Science and Dynamical Systems
    theory. The meeting will be completed with an open Round Table
    discussion involving the audience.

    It is proposed to make available video-tapes of each coherent half of
    the symposium.

    For further details of registration costs, please phone Julie Lovatt
    or Wendy Williams (+44 (0)161 247 5551 or email Keith Davids
    (, Simon Bennett ( or Andy
    Ramwell (

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