My name is Laura S. Cuijpers and I am affiliated as a researcher and lecturer at the Developmental Psychology Department at the University of Groningen. I am fascinated by the ability of people to coordinate their actions with others, such as in sports (rowing, dance and martial arts), education (student-teacher interactions) and development (e.g., learning through play). I enjoy sharing wonder and curiosity about movement through research, education, talks and media.
In my research I study motor coordination, learning and development from a dynamical systems perspective. I am interested in our ability to form social systems with others (such as in rowing, dance or martial arts) and the ability to explore new possibilities for action within a (social) system.
In my dissertation “Coordination dynamics of crew rowing” I explored the possibility of rowing in antiphase coordination, both in the lab and on the water. To be able to measure crew coordination on-water, I developed my own measurement system using Arduino (i.e., open-source computer hardware and software that allows building digital devices and interactive objects).
Currently I am continuing my research in social coordination on “Unity and agency” together with dr. Koudenburg and prof. K.L. Marsh (University of Connecticut). Using empirical examples from rowing, dance and martial arts, we propose a theoretical framework on how joint action and breakdowns affects psychological unity and agency. In the research project “Moving patterns of behaviour“, a collaboration with Random Collision and dr. R. Cox, we are studying movement practices such as the Feldenkrais Method from a dynamical systems perspective as proposed by Esther Thelen. In this study we focus on intra- and interpersonal differences on balance, mobility and body awareness. I am collaborating in a project on “Antifragility in crew rowing” with Y. Hill, dr. P.L. Silva (University of Cincinatti) and dr. A. Kiefer (University of North Carolina).
I aspire to create a learning environment that invites experiences and reflection upon those. I strongly believe that we learn through action and developed a Movement Workshop to enable students to experience theoretical concepts of motor development and learning (e.g., affordances, constraints, control parameter and self-organisation) by moving themselves. To support students in their process of building on their future, I developed the educational module Creating your own course to challenge and support students to develop their plans for the future.