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      Professor Jon Wheat Inaugural Lecture in Sheffield

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      July 16, 2019

      Tuesday   6:00 PM

      Robert Winston Building , Broomhall Road
      Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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      Professor Jon Wheat Inaugural Lecture

      There’s more than one way to crack an egg: analysing human movement within an Ecological Dynamics framework Have you ever thought about what constitutes skilled movement? Perhaps you assume that a skilled person – be it in sports or daily activity – performs in an optimal way, and repeats movements consistently. This perspective is widely influential. For example, sport and exercise scientists search for Common Optimal Movement Patterns based on ‘expert models’. Sports coaches use templates for movements, instructing their athletes to adhere to them, and physiotherapists rehabilitate patients to recover normal movements. Any deviations from these ‘optimal’, ‘template’ or ‘normal’ movement patterns are deemed to be errors that need to be corrected. These assumptions are challenged by a contemporary approach to motor learning and skill acquisition known as Ecological Dynamics, which integrates theoretical assumptions from ecological psychology, dynamical systems theory and the complexity sciences. Amongst other core concepts, the theoretical framework highlights the importance of the interaction between individuals and their environment, as well as the functionality of variability between individuals (different movement patterns adopted by different people) and within individuals (differences in the way a person performs the same movement). Jon Wheat’s research is heavily influenced by Ecological Dynamics, and he will discuss work which has shown how new – sometimes consumer - technologies can help capture individual differences and perform analyses in more representative environments. Research applying an Ecological Dynamics approach to the study of golf, cycling and neurological conditions such as stroke will also be discussed. Jon is Professor of Sport and Exercise Biomechanics and Head of Research and Scholarly Activity in the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity. In 2014, Jon was recognised by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Royal Academy of Engineering as a Rising Star. Much of Jon's research is influenced by Ecological Dynamics - a contemporary theoretical approach in motor learning. He leads the Biomechanics Research Group which combines expertise in biomechanics, engineering, sensors, computer programming and motor learning to develop and applies biomechanics and body morphology measurement systems into more applied settings. A major aspect of Jon's work in this area is related to the use of consumer depth cameras in the analysis of body morphology, with affordable and accessible 3D surface imaging systems. Jon also has a keen interest in cycling biomechanics working in collaboration with colleagues within and outside of SHU on mechanics-related projects. From ground-breaking research to extensive and pioneering training programmes, Sheffield Hallam University is a national leader in creating innovative solutions that enable healthier lives.  Its practitioners, scientists, engineers and designers regularly collaborate to create new and innovative ways to help people lead healthier lives.  Please arrive from 6.00pm for refreshments which will be served outside the lecture theatre. The lecture will begin at 6:30pm prompt followed by wine and canapés.

      Categories: Education

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