Peter Beek

Peter Beek

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081 BT Amsterdam
room D111

+31 20 59 88888

General interest

I am a broadly trained and oriented human movement scientist. I am fascinated by the control and coordination of human movement, and changes therein as a function of development, learning and rehabilitation. Among the many topics that have my interest, the acquisition of perceptual-motor skills and the development of expertise stand out.

Achievements

Most of my early work consisted of modeling studies of coordinated rhythmic movement that were motivated from the then burgeoning dynamical systems approach, or coordination dynamics in short. I contributed to the advancement of this approach by developing and testing nonlinear dynamical models for rhythmic arm movements. My PhD work consisted of a formal, in-depth analysis of the task constraints of juggling and their accommodation by human performers, which culminated in an article on juggling in Scientific American. With my colleagues Andreas Daffertshofer and Till Frank I further contributed to the theory of stochastic dynamics and its application to human movement and brain activity. In my more recent work, I sought to improve movement coordination in rehabilitation and sports through cueing and feedback, which, among others, led to a patent for a new treadmill, called the C-Mill, with visual and auditory cueing together with Melvyn Roerdink.

Current research

Besides a PhD project on the efficacy of the C-Mill in gait rehabilitation, I am currently supervising PhD projects on the use of performance feedback in swimming, rowing, running and baseball with the aim to identify (the most) effective means to improve relevant technical skills. A PhD project on cycling will soon be added to this list, in which a mixed-reality environment will be developed to improve steering and braking skills during descent.

Résumé

I received my PhD at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 1989 with the predicate cum laude. My thesis supervisors were the late psychologist Prof. Dr. H. T. Whiting, who founded the journal Human Movement Science for which I currently serve as editor, and theoretical physicist Prof. Dr. Ir. B. P. Th. Veltman.

  • Title: Juggling dynamics.
  • Topics: The coordination dynamics of single-handed and two-handed movement, walking and running, standing, catching and hitting. Perception-action coupling. Coordination and performance improvement in (gait) rehabilitation and sports (including swimming, rowing, athletics, gymnastics, baseball and football).

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Excerpts of scientific work

For the complete lineup, refer to VU Research Portal

Excerpts of scientific work

For the complete lineup, refer to VU Research Portal

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