In 1880 VU Amsterdam first opened its doors to students. VU stands for ‘Vrije Universiteit‘ which means ‘Free University’. Here, ‘free’ refers to freedom from state and church interference. VU University Amsterdam was established in 1880 by orthodox protestants. Nowadays it aims to be inspiring, innovative and involved. Throughout the past century, the university has continued to expand. It now comprises twelve faculties and has teaching facilities for 19,000 students.
The conference will be held at the Main Building, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The main auditorium (Aula) there seats 900 and multiple smaller rooms are available in sizes ranging from 30 to 400 seats.
About VU Faculty of Human Movement Sciences
Within the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, founded in 1971, a number of researchers work in cooperation with each other to increase insight into human movement and to solve problems in the field of human movement. The Institute for Fundamental and Clinical Human Movement Sciences (IFKB) was founded in 1995 and approved by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996. The IFKB is the only research school in the Netherlands that is devoted to the study of biological movement. It is a cooperative effort between the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (VU), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen (UMCN), Department of Orthopaedics, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam (AMC), and Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, Amsterdam (VUMC).
The goal of the Research Institute MOVE is a collaboration between researchers of the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, VU Medical Center and ACTA. The goal of MOVE is to understand human movement by conducting excellent scientific research. The underlying goal is to optimize movement of several groups of patients (i.e. patients with osteoporosis, arthrosis, cerebral palsy or a stroke) and of healthy persons (i.e. children, elderly, sportsmen/women and workers). The goals of MOVE are related to healthcare, with the focus on prevention and recovery of injury and disorders of the musculoskeletal system and on optimal recovery of tissue and function. Furthermore, MOVE wants to apply results of research, which are related to prevent injury and other health problems, as well as improve performance, in ergonomics and sports. MOVE covers a broad spectrum of research. Fundamental as well as applied human movement research is performed with a strong integrative and translational signature. The focus of the research is on healthy and pathological movement, as well as on the musculoskeletal system and its disorders.
The research is organized in three themes. Each theme focuses on normal and pathological functioning. Interventions, aimed at improvement of functioning while moving are developed and evaluated.
1. Musculoskeletal Biology (click to read about)
2. Structure and Motion (click to read about)
Mechanical properties of muscles and muscle groups in physiological or pathological conditions:
- Muscle force-length properties
- Force transmission from muscle to intra- and extramuscular connective tissue structures in series with it.
- Mechanisms of adaptation of the, parallel and in series, number of sarcomeres in skeletal muscle.
Injury mechanisms and -probabilities in relation to task demands:
- Control of joint stability in the spine, upper extremity and knee
- Control of balance after mechanical perturbations of gait
- Effects of task demands on injury probability
Adaptation of motor control in musculoskeletal disorders:
- Changes in control of joint stability in the spin, upper extremity, and knee
- Changes in control of gait with musculoskeletal disorders after knee replacement
- Interactions of structural and control changes in Cerebral Palsy
(Patho)physiology and mechanics in human performance. The primary goal of this programme is to improve the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of optimum performance of the different organ systems relevant for human movement, how these organ systems contribute to optimum human movement performance, and how natural or clinical changes in (part of) one of more of the (sub) systems affect performance and the optimalisation of whole body performance. Projects include:
- Effects of (changing) muscular properties for neural control
- The role of energy metabolism in the qualitative and quantitative changes in neuromuscular properties during exercise (fatigue)
- The influence of chronic adaptations on neuromuscular properties and the consequences for performing during exercise
- Underlying biomechanical and physiological processes in the optimalisation of physical exercise under different boundary conditions in health, athletics and disease
- Artificial exercise in the impaired (paralysed) human movement system
- Cyclic arm work: optimising (neuro-) physiological, energetic and biomechanical performance in upper body exercise
- Mechanisms of practice, exercise, training and learning in the restoration of mobility and functioning in persons with a spinal cord injury
- Functional performance capacity in persons with lower limb impairment, especially persons with an amputation
3. Motor Control (click to read about)
Coordination dynamics. The main goal of this programme is to gain insight into interlimb coordination and the coordination between limb movements and the environment using the formal concepts and analytical tools of dynamical systems theory. The adopted approach focuses on the stability properties of behavioural patterns and how they are affected by movement parameters (e.g., accuracy, frequency, amplitude, and force), cognitive influences and perception. If tractable, the observed properties and effects are explicitly modelled in terms of (stochastic) equations of motion to uncover the functional and operational design of motor control systems. The experimental tasks of interest range from basic laboratory tasks like rhythmic limb movements, tapping, isometric force production, reaching and pointing, to more complex behaviours like standing upright, locomotion, juggling, catching and hitting. Projects include:
- Unified dynamics of discrete and cyclical movements
- Cognitive influences on stability-related interlimb interactions
- Asymmetries in interlimb coordination
- Interlimb and intersegmental coordination during gait
- Rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease: strategies for cueing (RESCUE)
- Functional recovery of gait and posture after stroke
- Preventions of falls in the elderly
- Functional recovery following knee replacement
Perceptual motor control: development, learning and performance. The research of this programme focuses on how perceptual-motor control at the different time scales of development, learning and peak performance is brought about by the constraints on the actor-environment system. The main objective of the current programme is to identify the relative contribution of these constraints to perceptual-motor control and their changes therein at the different time scales. The core of the research lies with the interaction between the task (e.g., object properties, task instructions) and organismic constraints (e.g., brain damage, anxiety) with special emphasis on the use of perceptual information. Projects include:
- Calibration in perception and action
- The structure of the visual workspace in object manipulation
- Environmental influences on the development of fetal movement coordination
- The information-based control of interceptive timing: a developmental perspective
- Visual timing in the context of road crossing
- Balance and walking coordination
- Visual information processing for action in complex sport tasks
- Mental skills and task focus
- Impact of state variables, particularly anxiety on movement behaviour
- Does force rise time explain the difference in jump height between countermovement and squat jumps?
- What are the effects of skin suits on drag in swimming?
- What are the requirements on joint stiffness during human standing?
- Does length-dependent calcium sensitivity of contractile tissue enhance muscle stiffness?
- How is oscillation frequency of a freely swinging body segment affected by mass perturbation?
- What determines the optimal pedaling rate during sprint cycling?
- How should cycling and speed skating races be paced?
- Does high altitude training affect swimming performance?
- Can mechanical energy be coupled to metabolic energy in running?
- Does metabolic energy used in running correspond to heat production?
- How is balance in upright standing regulated?
- How is ‘leg stiffness’ regulated in hopping?
- Can mechanical power output in FES cycling be improved by releasing the ankle joint?
- How are visual cues about target orientation used in on-line control of aiming movements?
- Does visuo-motor adaptation involve sensory recalibration?
- How is gravity taken into account in the control of fast goal-directed arm movements?
- How are intersegmental forces and moments taken into account in the control of fast goal-directed arm movements?
- How good is colour constancy in our daily environment?
- Can haptic spatial information be processed in parallel across digits?
- Does Gestalt formation help haptic perception?
- What are the temporal limitations of combining cues in visual perception?