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Expert in Advances in the Control of Human Movement

Own Teachings
Telephone: 91 488 70 40
Academic direction: Miguel Angel Fernandez del Olmo .

more information

Basic Information


Human movement is the object of study of numerous disciplines, which have generally evolved in parallel and without interconnection points, limiting the knowledge about how we control human movement.

Thus, for example, neurophysiology, neurology or neuroscience are examples of sciences that have provided a great deal of knowledge about the functioning of the nervous system and its role in human movement, focusing primarily on its control mechanisms. In parallel, psychology, with a more behavioral approach, has allowed us to understand movement control at a more applied level.

It is not, however, until the appearance of a new scientific discipline, called Motor Control, where all the aforementioned sciences interact with each other to explore the regulation of movement in organisms that have a nervous system, giving rise to a "corpus" of unique knowledge and particular. Therefore, through the Motor Control basic and applied research in the area of ​​motion control in biological systems (International Society of Motor Control) is addressed and promoted.

This course addresses the advances made in the control of human movement from the perspective of Motor Control. Although a small introduction will be made in each of the topics to guarantee the minimum necessary knowledge, we will mainly deal with the latest research and the principles to which it may give rise.

One of the main characteristics of the course is the critical approach to new scientific findings, promoting rigorous and critical thinking among students, essential in these times where the excess of unfiltered information is constant. This critical approach to the contents taught is possible thanks to the more than 25 years of research experience in the field of Motor Control of the professor responsible for the course, who has developed numerous studies and projects on all the topics addressed in this course.

The relevance of Motor Control is included in the white book of the Graduates in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, including it as a compulsory subject in the training of said graduates.

Therefore, this course is aimed at Graduates in Physical Activity Sciences and Graduates in Physical Education, due to the relevance that the Motor Control area has in their training.


Know the recent advances in the scientific area of ​​Motor Control and its contribution to the control of human movement.


The course consists of a single module. Below is a brief description of the contents/topics of the module.

The control of human movement (Evolution of the field of study). Duration 6 hours

    1. Past, present and future We will address the scientific origins and the contribution of different scientific disciplines that have originated the discipline known as motor control, its current situation and its possible future evolution.
    1. What is and what is not motor control? After defining what motor control is, we will learn about the main challenges that motor control faces for an optimal understanding of the control of human movement.
    1. New measurement techniques/instruments We will know those neurophysiological techniques that allow us to explore the nervous system and provide us with very useful information on the control of movement by it. We will see and understand the operation of several techniques such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, tDCS or transcranial direct current stimulation and surface and high density electromyography among others..

Advances from psychology and computational models in the control of movement. Duration 10 hours

    1. Application of the Information Processing Model to Movement Control  We will know the different perceptive, cognitive and execution phases of the voluntary movement and its implications in it.
    1. Reflex, voluntary automatic and non-automatic movements We will know the characteristics of these movements and the ability we have to influence and modify each one of them from our practice.
    1. Contributions of computational models of motor control We will know the great contribution of these models and their potential practical applications. We will address concepts such as prediction, efferent copy, sensory attenuation, internal models and "motor primitives"
    1. The variability of the movement We will address the multiple dimensions of movement variability, from learning to motor performance.
    1. The focus of attention on learning and motor performance We will discuss whether we can really talk in terms of internal focus or external focus.

Advances in the neurophysiological control of human movement. Duration 14 hours

    1. The nervous system in force production We will understand the behavior of motor neurons and its variability depending not only on the force to be applied but also on the context in which that force must be applied.
    1. Contribution of neuromuscular spindles to the control of movement We will understand the applications of the stretch reflex to sports training such as plyometrics. We will understand how to measure the reflex by means of the H wave or Hoffmann reflex. We will talk about the tonic vibratory reflex and its possible applications through local vibration vs. whole body vibration.
    1. Contribution of the Golgi tendon organs to the control of movement We will understand the autogenous inhibition reflex and the debatable evidence for it.
    1. Proprioception and proprioceptive training We will define what proprioception is and from there we will carry out a new proprioceptive training proposal based solely on the muscular sense.
    1. Reciprocal inhibition and agonist/antagonist coactivation We will understand the mechanisms for the increase and decrease of muscle stiffness and its role in the control of degrees of freedom, as well as other relevant functions.
    1. Role of the descending tracts in movement control We will understand the contribution to the voluntary, automatic and postural movement of the main descending tracts (corticospinal, vestibulospinal, reticulospinal and propriospinal) paying special attention to the startle reflex for the evaluation of the reticulospinal tract.
    1. Role of subcortical structures We will understand the role of the direct and indirect pathways of the basal ganglia in movement. We will talk about the multiple functions that the cerebellum has in the control of movement, from motor adaptation, motor tracking, triple activation, temporal processing. We will extract numerous intervention strategies.
    1. Advances in cortical control of movement We will address, among other topics, the mirror neuron system, performance observation and motor learning or imagination training.

Formation activities

  • Online expository master classes (30 hours)
  • On-line practical work (consistent practices in the analysis of data that the student will present for evaluation are presented and explained (see next section)). (5 hours)
  • Group tutorials (10 hours). Compulsory attendance at 50% of them (5 hours)
  • Discussion Forum.

Evaluation systems. Justification and organization

The evaluation system will consist of:

  1. Completion of practical work online consisting of the analysis of data provided by the teacher. These practices are listed below:
    1. Practice on Hicks law and Fitts law
    2. Practice on temporal variability in repetitive movements of the upper limb
    3. Practice on temporal variability of gait
    4. Force Variability Practice
    5. Practice on motor adaptation
  2. Theoretical test type test on the contents

Each practice will have a PASS/FAIL evaluation. To pass the course, the student must obtain a PASS in the 5 practices and obtain a score of 5 out of 10 in the theoretical exam.


Graduates in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences / Graduates in Physical Education or equivalent foreign degree

Selection criteria: In the event that the pre-registered exceed the number of places offered, priority will be given to those students who have completed an Official Master.

Number of Places: 40

Academic Management and Faculty

Academic management and faculty: Miguel Angel Fernández del Olmo

Duration and development

Modality: online

Number of credits: 4.5

Contact hours: n / A

Place of delivery: URJC online teaching platform

Hours: N/A

Start and end date: 17 October 2022 / 30 January 2023

Reservation of place and enrollment

Pre-registration period: from 1 to 30 of September

Enrollment deadline: from 1 to October 12

Title price: 299 €

Possibility of scholarship: No

Pre-registration: 0 €.

The start of the course is conditioned to the minimum number of students enrolled.

Documentation to attach, forms and place of delivery

the applicants they will present all the scanned documentation, in the formats allowed through the telematic self-registration application at the time of applying for admission to own degrees. They must compulsorily attach to their request the declaration of the person responsible for the veracity of the data provided in digital format.

At any time, both the Program Management and the Own Teaching Service may request the applicants to submit said certified/collated documentation through the General Registry, located on the Móstoles Campus, or in any of the registries assistants located in the different campuses of the Rey Juan Carlos University, or by sending it through Certified Mail to: Rey Juan Carlos University. General Registry. Avda. Tulipán s/n. 28933. Mostoles. Madrid

The student is responsible for the veracity and correctness of the data provided, exonerating the Rey Juan Carlos University from any responsibility and guaranteeing and being responsible for its accuracy, validity and authenticity.

Required documentation:

Students with a degree obtained from a Spanish university or a Higher Education Institution belonging to another Member State of the European Higher Education Area that authorizes access to own postgraduate degrees must present the following documentation:

  • National Identity Document or equivalent
  • University degree of the studies that give access to the requested postgraduate degree.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Responsible declaration of veracity of the data provided in digital format
  • Any other document that the Director of the Own Title specifically requires for its acceptance

Students with a foreign degree must present the following documentation:

  • Passport or Residence Card
  • Foreign Higher Education Degree (Graduate, Graduate, Architect, Engineer Doctor...) that give access to own postgraduate degree studies.
  • Certificate certifying that the studies carried out give access to an Official Postgraduate Degree in your country of origin, issued by the University of origin
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Declaration of the person responsible for the veracity of the data provided in digital format
  • Any other document that the Director of the Own Title specifically requires for its acceptance

Applicants with studies completed in foreign University Centers may be requested at any time a certificate of verification of these studies and centers, issued by an authorized Institution.

All documentation provided must be legalized in accordance with Spanish law and translated by an official translator.