Computer Science (Human Computer Interaction) (3 Years) [BSc]

Motor Systems for Human Computer Interaction

Unit code: BIOL22332
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit?: N




This course aims to explain our current understanding of how the mammalian nervous system plans and executes movements, with particular reference to the human case. Topics will include the anatomy and physiology of the motor systems, spanning from muscles contraction to spinal reflexes, cortical and sub-cortical control of movement and how certain neurological diseases affect movement. In this way, the students will be exposed to the many levels of motor control, and will acquire a critical knowledge of what we know (or don’t yet know) about the structure and function of human motor control systems.



Motor Systems provides an understanding of how the central nervous system plans and controls movement. You will study topics including muscle contraction, spinal reflexes, the control of movement by different areas of the brain and neurological diseases which affect movement.


Learning outcomes

Students will be able to: 

  • Critically assess the current knowledge of motor control and to communicate these topics in a concise manner that recognises the limitations of current hypotheses.

Students will have: 

  • An understanding of the motor systems at a variety of levels (from cellular to systems neuroscience).

  • An accurate understanding of the different strategies used by the nervous system to control movement.

  • An understanding of the different roles played by muscles, the spinal cord, midbrain, cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia in the organisation of movement.

  • A critical knowledge of the different experimental methods used to investigate motor control.

Assessment methods

  • Other - 10%
  • Written exam - 45%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 45%

Assessment Further Information

Four online (Blackboard) MCQ mini-exams - 10%

Feedback will be provided as part of four online multiple-choice assessments on lecture content.n lecture content.


One written assessment  - 45%

Written feedback will be provided on the written assessment.

A ’Question and Answer’ session will be held to discuss any student-raised concerns and/or past examination questions.


Written examination composed of compulsory short answer questions - 1 hour - 45%

A formal feedback session will be held in the subsequent semester in which students will have access to their marked examination scrips and to generic comments from the markers.


Study hours

  • Lectures - 22 hours
  • Independent study hours - 78 hours

Teaching staff

Niall Mcloughlin - Unit coordinator

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