EXERSCI 714 : Special Topics in the Exercise Sciences


2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

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Course Overview

In the past two decades there have been considerable advances in noninvasive brain stimulation and imaging techniques. These advances make it possible to better understanding the structure, function and plasticity of the human brain in vivo and are particularly relevant to movement neuroscience. The course will provide an overview of the recent advances in these areas and expose students to data collection, pre-processing and analysis techniques used for motor evoked potential studies with surface electromyography, and analysis of MRI data, and MRI-guided (stereotactic) stimulation of the human brain. Throughout the course, the student will be expected to attend and contribute to seminars and laboratory-based data collection and analysis sessions. Students will also work in small groups to complete assignments at mutually agreeable times.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Head of Department approval Restriction: SPORTSCI 714

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate ability to acquire human motor neurophysiological data (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  2. Understand and apply central and peripheral noninvasive stimulation techniques to acquire motor evoked potential and reflex-derived measurements (Capability 1 and 3)
  3. Demonstrate ability to analyse structural and functional human brain imaging data acquired with MRI (Capability 1)
  4. Freely integrate, selectively apply, and critically assess noninvasive brain stimulation techniques appropriate for induction of cortical plasticity (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Demonstrate the ability to to safely and correctly operate research-grade data acquisition equipment for frameless stereotactic neuro-navigation (Capability 1 and 2)
  6. Be able to demonstrate technical competencies in human neurophysiological data collection in a time-critical manner (Capability 3, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Attendance & participation during seminar demonstrations and data acquisition sessions 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Assignments 60% Group & Individual Coursework
Practical Exam 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Attendance & participation during seminar demonstrations and data acquisition sessions
Practical Exam

Special Requirements

This course requires the use of research-dedicated equipment and space. Session times may have to be scheduled flexibly around research activities, and scheduled University commitments of both staff and students, including teaching and tutoring duties. Scheduled times will be during normal University hours (8am - 6pm). In light of these constraints, scheduling of activities may not be able to accommodate students who have non-University commitments that fall during normal business hours.

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 this course, you can expect 1 hour of seminar based instruction, 2 hours of hands-on instruction in the lab, 3 hours of supervised work in the lab, 2 hours of reading and 2 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required for weekly scheduled lab activities in order to complete the course.
There are no lectures or recordings. 
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required to complete assignments and for the practical exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Reading material will be provided. There is no required textbook. 

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.

In the previous year, 100% of students agreed or strongly agreed with the statements:
- The course was structured in a clear and logical manner
- The course encouraged me to participate in ways that helped me to learn
- I received helpful feedback on my learning progress
- The course developed my sense of intellectual independence and confidence

Digital 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.

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 against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


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 your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

The expectation is that this course will be conducted in-person on campus.
Level 1: delivered normally as specified in delivery mode.
Levels 2-4: Substantial adjustments would be required for the course to be delivered remotely  with some learning outcomes potentially unachievable given the "hands-on" nature of this practical course.

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 you may be asked to submit your 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. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 24/02/2021 10:02 p.m.