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May 7, 2021

Clark-Whitall Endowed Lecture in Motor Development: Guest Speaker Dr. Karl M. Newell

3:00 pm
Guest speaker stock photo

On Friday, May 7, join us for the inaugural Clark-Whitall Endowed Lectureship in Motor Development!

This year's guest speaker is Dr. Karl M. Newell from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia in Athens. 

About Dr. Newell:

Dr. Newell was born and raised in Brighton, England. He completed undergraduate studies at the former Loughborough College of Education and graduate degrees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He became Professor and head of Kinesiology at UIUC and later the Marie Underhill Noll Chair in the Department of Kinesiology at The Pennsylvania State University. Most recently, he moved to the University of Georgia, where he is now an adjunct Professor of Kinesiology.

Dr. Newell’s research interest has focused on the coordination, control and skill of normal and abnormal human movement across the lifespan. He is particularly well known for a 1986 paper ‘Constraints on the development of coordination’ together with the emphasis on the information for and dynamics of change in coordination, control and skill.

Dr. Newell was an early investigator of the dynamical systems approach to human movement as reflected in the 2001 Psychological Review paper on ‘Time scales in motor learning and development’. He has an extensive record of publications in a range of movement and disciplinary journals/books. Dr. Newell has had a career of external funding from primarily NIH and NSF. He was an Executive Editor of the Journal of Motor Behavior.

About the Lecture:

His talk, the Acquisition of Coordination in Motor Learning and Development, will elaborate on the perspective of Nikolai Bernstein (1967) that skill in movement tasks is, in effect, the mastery of the redundant degrees of freedom (DF). 

Dr. Newell argues that the study of motor learning and performance in adults has largely finessed this proposition because it has been dominated by task demands to scale an already producible coordination mode - thus restricting in many laboratory motor learning tasks the functional DF in the coordination of joint space. In contrast, the acquisition of new movement forms in infancy and early childhood has been a longstanding central issue in motor development. It is proposed that in spite of this divergent history to movement coordination in motor learning and development there is increasing evidence for common ground on this fundamental issue. It remains a challenge in the theory and practice of movement science to understand the roles of the many DFs in the formation and acquisition of movement coordination, control and skill.

This annual endowed lecture is funded by the University of Maryland School of Public Health's former Dean Jane Clark and and Jill Whitall, PhD '88.

Register to Attend