EXERSCI 708 : Advanced Seminar in Movement Neuroscience


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Seminar based course which examines brain organisation and function related to movement in health and disease. Emphasis is placed on contemporary techniques and paradigms in the field of movement neuroscience, with special emphasis on clinical populations that exhibit impaired movement. Neural plasticity is a central theme.

Course Overview

This course examines brain organisation and function related to movement in health and disease by critically appraising the methodology and interpretation of recent advances in movement neuroscience. Students are expected to have an undergraduate-level understanding of movement neuroscience that includes motor control and motor learning. In this course students will  of the current state of knowledge be exposed to contemporary issues in movement neuroscience and be asked to communicate the main findings at a level appropriate for experts and non-experts in this area. 

The course structure is designed to develop skills such as communication, collaboration, time management, critical thinking and problem-solving which will transfer to various workplace environments and postgraduate research.

Course Requirements

Restriction: SPORTSCI 708

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse the current state of knowledge in movement neuroscience by critically evaluating and synthesising recent advances in research, demonstrating the ability to discern high-quality methodologies and valid interpretations. (Capability 3, 4, 6 and 7)
  2. Evaluate contemporary issues in movement neuroscience, applying a multidisciplinary approach to assess the impact of these issues on our understanding of brain organisation and function related to movement in health and disease. (Capability 3 and 4)
  3. Communicate the main findings of movement neuroscience research at a level appropriate for both experts and non-experts, employing effective written and oral communication skills to convey complex concepts clearly and persuasively. (Capability 3, 6 and 7)
  4. Develop and demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills through the examination of real-world challenges in movement neuroscience, proposing innovative solutions and strategies to address complex problems in the field. (Capability 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  5. Demonstrate effective time management and organisational skills by successfully managing coursework, research, and assignments, fostering the ability to balance competing demands and meet deadlines, which are transferable to various workplace environments and postgraduate research endeavours. (Capability 3, 5, 6 and 7)
  6. Synthesise and critique existing literature on a specific topic within movement neuroscience, culminating in the creation of a mini-review article that effectively summarises and evaluates the current state of knowledge, including methodologies, key findings, and areas of debate or future research. (Capability 3, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Seminar Participation 30% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 30% Individual Coursework
Assignment 20% Individual Coursework
Written Test 20% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Seminar Participation
Written Test


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

Key Topics

The course covers pertinent  topics to movement neuroscience which may include, but are not limited to:

  • The Organisation of Movement
  • Non-invasive stimulation techniques
  • Motor Cortex Function 
  • Basal Ganglia & Cerebellum
  • Motor imagery 
  • Exercise, Motor Cortex Plasticity and Skill Learning 
  • Cognitive Control of Action 
  • Functional Neurological Disorders 
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Muscle Synergies 
  • Motor Recovery after Stroke

Special Requirements

This course is a blended learning course, with learning and teaching delivered using both face-to-face and online activities provided via Canvas. The online component is compulsory and is designed to enhance understanding of important concepts which provide the basis for discussions held during in-class learning and teaching sessions.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For each week of this course, you can expect 3 hours of time spent in each seminar, 2-3 hours of reading and critiquing content, and 2-3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation. For presentation of  a seminar research article, each student will be required to read around the assigned paper.

For presentation of an assigned section, chapter or research article, each student will also be required to read around the assigned material. This information will provide a base for the student to better identify key limitations and strengths of the paper, but also demonstrate an understanding about whether the study findings are complimentary or contradictory with the literature. The work dedicated for each presentation will benefit the student’s own understanding of the topic, but also their peers who will rely on the content and delivery of the presentation to better understand the reading.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including seminars to complete components of the course.
Presentations will be available as recordings. 
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for seminars and written test.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All reading material and recorded summaries are available through links on Canvas and/or via the University Library.

Additional Resources available from the library:  

  • Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, & Jessel TM. Principles of Neuroscience, 6th or 5th Edition. 
  • Rothwell, J. 1994. Control of human voluntary movement.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

The content, delivery and organisation of EXERSCI 708 has been continually refined on the basis of student feedback since it was first delivered in 1999.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 06/11/2023 08:40 a.m.