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My research investigates how variability of constraints on practice lead to the emergence of adaptive and creative motor behaviour throughout the lifespan. Constraints (factors including the task, environment and individual that influence behaviour) vary over different timescales, such as during action (fast), learning (moderate) and, throughout lifespan development (slow). Broadly, using task vehicles from sport, physical activity and rehabilitation, my programme of work examines how different timescales of change influence skilled behaviour based on complex systems analysis.

My master’s (2012) and doctoral (2013-2016) dissertations demonstrated beneficial relationships between movement variability (including exploratory and regulatory movements) and performance outcomes, new motor action emergence and capabilities to solve new motor problems. This work set a foundation for my current investigations into the effect of interactions amongst constraints on creative motor action emergence. Indeed, a beginner faced with a new motor problem may need to, through practice, find original and functional (aka. creative) motor solutions.

A critical challenge I currently address is accurate and unsupervised assessment of behavioural novelty emerging under complex conditions. In doing so, mechanisms that underpin adaptive and creative motor behaviour, such as the structure of exploration, are under investigation.

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Research Output 2013 2018

  • 15 Article
  • 4 Review article
  • 2 Chapter
  • 2 Conference contribution

Affordance realization in climbing: Learning and transfer

Seifert, L., Orth, D., Mantel, B., Boulanger, J., Hérault, R. & Dicks, M., 28 May 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, MAY, p. 1-14 14 p., 820

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Decision Trees

Automatic classification of strike techniques using limb trajectory data

Soekarjo, K. M. W., Orth, D., Warmerdam, E. & Van Der Kamp, J., 2018, Machine Learning and Data Mining for Sports Analytics: Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Machine Learning and Data Mining for Sports Analytics co-located with 2018 European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECML PKDD 2018). Dublin, Ireland, September 10th, 2018. Brefeld, U., Davis, J., van Haaren, J. & Zimmermann, A. (eds.). p. 137-148 12 p. (CEUR Workshop Proceedings; vol. 2284)

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Learning systems

Behavioral repertoire influences the rate and nature of learning in climbing: Implications for individualized learning design in preparation for extreme sports participation

Orth, D., Davids, K., Chow, J. Y., Brymer, E. & Seifert, L., 12 Jun 2018, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 9, JUN, 949

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access

The influence of hold regularity on perceptual-motor behaviour in indoor climbing

Button, C., Orth, D., Davids, K. & Seifert, L., 2018, In : European Journal of Sport Science. 18, 8, p. 1090-1099 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Analysis of relations between spatiotemporal movement regulation and performance of discrete actions reveals functionality in skilled climbing

Orth, D., Kerr, G., Davids, K. & Seifert, L., 6 Oct 2017, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 8, OCT, 1744

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Physiological Adaptation
Process Assessment (Health Care)