with Peter van Kan
About this Course
Learn how your central nervous system shapes reality, how your sensorimotor system controls movement, how your mind shapes your brain, and much more!
Kinesiology 200 provides a systematic introduction to the mammalian nervous system, with emphasis on the structure and function of the human brain. Topics include the function of nerve cells, sensory systems, control of movement, learning and memory, and diseases of the brain. The foundational knowledge covered in this course serves students interested in health sciences majors, as well as non-science students interested in neuroscience and its relation to human health, wellness, and disease. The course has no prerequisites; the elements of biology, physics, and chemistry required for understanding neuroscience are covered as the course progresses.
1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
June 19 –
Meet Your Professor
Peter van Kan
Kinesiology | Neuroscience Training Program
Peter van Kan directs the Motor Systems Physiology Lab in the Department of Kinesiology. Our long-term goal is to understand the neural control of reaching to grasp. Reaching to grasp is essential to primate motor behavior and strongly depends on cerebellar function. We use intermediate cerebellum, and its associated neural circuitry, as a model system for studying how the brain generates command signals for movements. Our results support the hypothesis that intermediate cerebellar output via the rubrospinal tract is specialized for control of hand use: rubrospinal neurons may command muscle synergies that produce grouped digit extension to preshape the hand at the appropriate time within the reach.