Rachel Mowbray: “The development of whole-body movement”

In Students by jvnf65

  • Durham University
  • Psychology
  • rachel.mowbray@durham.ac.uk

Description:

Supervised by Dr. Dorothy Cowie (Durham University) | Dr. Anthony Atkinson (Durham University) | Rachel Kurtz (Bare Toed Dance Company, external collaborator)

Visual control of precision stepping | Postural awareness | Dance as a motor intervention

Using motion capture technology, I study whole-body motor skill from a developmental perspective. I am interested in how the senses (specifically vision) are used to control movement e.g. walking. My MA research project has focused on the development of visually-guided walking in cluttered environments. I am also interested in how children develop skills of imitating, remembering and recreating body postures. These skills are crucial for participating in sport and exercise as well as for daily necessities such as social interaction.

Informed by our lab-based motor research and in collaboration with Bare Toed Dance Company, we will be studying the impact of creative dance training on primary aged children both quantitatively (motor skill assessment) and qualitatively (perceptions of exercise and dance). This study is of theoretical interest in terms of understanding plasticity of the developing motor system. It is also of practical importance in terms of understanding the most effective ways to improve the skills children need to engage in healthy, active lifestyles.