Coordination PhD

The role of information in learning and transfer of learning using coordinated rhythmic movement

Coordinated rhythmic movement is a standard task for studying perception, action and learning in the lab (Golonka & Wilson, 2012). This work uses a dynamical systems model of the task (e.g. Snapp-Childs, Wilson & Bingham, 2011) which explicitly includes the perceptual information used by people to coordinate their movements. Recent work has used this model to successfully make and test predictions about both learning and transfer of learning (e.g. Snapp-Childs, Wilson & Bingham, in press) and we also use it to explain how ageing changes the learning process (e.g. Ren et al, 2015).

This PhD project will use this model to continue to explore learning and transfer of learning. Experiments will train participants to move at the initially difficult 90 degrees under a variety of conditions. These conditions will manipulate both the perceptual information available to the person and the linguistic information as well, and we will evaluate the effects in terms of the model. We will also use these results to extend the model to account for this effects we uncover.

Experiments will present stimuli, and record and analyse data using Matlab. You will be trained in movement analysis, programming and experimental techniques in cognitive psychology, as well as a variety of statistical analyses. This project would suit a student interested in experimental cognitive psychology and /or the ecological approach and embodied cognition (e.g. Wilson & Golonka, 2013).

See Publications page for downloads.

Golonka, S., & Wilson, A. D. (2012). Gibson’s ecological approach – a model for the benefits of a theory driven psychology. Avant, 3(2), 40-53

Snapp-Childs, W., Wilson, A. D., & Bingham, G. P. (2011). The stability of rhythmic movement coordination depends on relative speed: The Bingham model supported. Experimental Brain Research, 215, 89-100.

Snapp-Childs, W., Wilson, A. D. & Bingham, G. P. (in press). Transfer of learning between unimanual and bimanual rhythmic movement coordination: Transfer is a function of the task dynamic. Experimental Brain Research. Download

Ren, J., Huang, S., Zhang, J., Zhu, Q., Wilson, A. D., Snapp-Childs, W. & Bingham, G. P. (2015). The 50s Cliff: A Decline in perceptuo-motor learning, not a deficit in visual motion perception. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0121708. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121708. Download (Open Access)

Wilson, A. D., & Golonka, S. (2013). Embodied Cognition is Not What you Think It Is. Frontiers in Psychology, 4.

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