Chair of Human Movement Science

Research at the Chair of Human Movement Science is devoted to the understanding of human sensorimotor control and associated neural mechanism. Major topics are

  • Analysis of motor behavior from elementary abilities to complex skills,
  • Consequences of disturbances of the central nervous systems and neurorehabilitation,
  • Development over the lifespan and interventions,
  • Sports performance and optimization.

We employ methods to capture and analyze human movements and forces as well as neuroimaging and brain stimulation methods and new technologies in rehabilitation.



Seckler, E., Regauer, V., Krüger, M., Gabriel, A., Hermsdörfer, J., Niemietz, C., Bauer, P., Müller, M. (2021). Improving mobility and participation of older people with vertigo, dizziness and balance disorders in primary care using a care pathway: feasibility study and process... [more]

Frailty is a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their resience. It is essential that frailty is identified to enable health and social care professionals to prevent negative outcomes and start a pathway of care.... [more]

Rohrbach, N., Hermsdörfer, J., Huber, L-M, Thierfelder, A., Buckingham, G. (2021). Fooling the size-weight illusion – Using augmented reality to eliminate the effect of size on perceptions of heaviness and sensorimotor prediction. [more]

Wais, J., Geidl, W., Rohrbach, N., Sudeck, G., & Pfeifer, K. (2021). Exercise therapy teamwork in German rehabilitation settings: Results of a national survey using mixed methods design. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(3).... [more]

Dr. Anke Karabanov (Integrative Physiology, Department of nutrition, exercise and sports, University of Copenhagen, DK) " Cortical Networks Related to Fine Motor Skills" [more]

Dr. Fabian Just (Volkswagen AG, past: Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, ETH Zurich) "Fusing Conventional and Robotic Rehabilitation Therapy" [more]

Dr. Andreas Rothgangel, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences Heerlen, Research Centre for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Exercise, NL "Patient Centered Telerehabilitation (PACT): Using traditional and digital mirror therapy to treat phantom limb pain following amputation" ... [more]

Dr. Magdalena Ietswaart, University of Stirling, Scotland UK - "How heading the ball affects corticomotor inhibition and evoked a global debate about the safety of football" [more]

Dr. B. Sattler (Beratungs- und Informationsstelle für Linkshänder und umgeschulte Linkshänder e.V., München), Dr. C. Marquardt (Science & Motion GmbH, München/ Flörsheim) und L. Stetter (TU München) "Handwriting with the left hand: Kinematics and observations from a training to... [more]

Dr. Eva-Maria Reuter (Neuromuscular Diagnostics, TU München) - "Adapt to stay on top - Sensorimotor adaptation in healthy older age" [more]

Older posts


New article published in „Frontiers in neurology“

Kaulmann, D., Hermsdörfer, J. & Johannsen, L. (2018) Serving performance in a suprapostural visual signal detection task: context-dependent and direction-specific control of body sway with fingertip light touch


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Hermann Müller (Psychology and Sport Science, Justus Liebig Universität Giessen)

Title: Sensorimotor learning under single- and dual task conditions

Time: 21.06.2018, 17.15 Uhr

Place: L010, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


Learning is an error-driven process. It requires processing of feedback in combination with internally generated predictions. Based on EEG- correlates of this post-trial error processing, we estimate the relevance of different information components (efference copy visual, kinesthetic) for motor learning in a throwing task. In a second line of experiments, we study the effects of cognitive-motor dual-task training on learning. We observe specific effects of an additional cognitive task on motor learning but also effects of the motor-task on improvements in the cognitive task.


PREP (TUM’s Practical Research Experience Program) student at the Chair of Human Movement Science

Rebecca Soilson is part of TUM’s Practical Research Experience Program (PREP) for excellent northamerican students at the Chair of Human Movement Science.

Asked about her motivation she told us:

Hi, everyone! I’m Rebecca Soilson, a rising third-year/junior student at Harvard College. In addition to having played on Harvard’s Varsity D1 rugby team, I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology . This summer, I will be interning through TUM’s practical research experience program (PREP) and will be working on a research project with Dr. Waltraud Stadler, Nina Rohrbach and Prof. Hermsdörfer using augmented reality to predict movement in a dynamic setting . I applied to this specific project to gain experience with AR, as I am passionate about neurorehabilitation and AR’s application in the field. I’m motivated to pursue a career in this area as my grandfather injured himself in a diving accident and lived most of his life as a quadriplegic - I watched him struggle patiently to perform basic tasks, and I often contemplate what opportunities could have been opened for him had the technology that we have today been available. I am really excited to be living here in Munich for the next few months, and I’m looking forward to meeting more people in the department and university alike!


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Roman Liepelt (Psychology Institute, German Sport University Cologne)

Title: Joint action and self-other integration

Time: 14.06.2018, 17.15 Uhr

Place: L010, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Nina Hanning (Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences, Munich Center for Neurosciences – Brain & Mind, Lehrstuhl Allgemeine und Experimentelle Psychologie, LMU)

Title: Visual attention and working memory in action: How eye and hand movements shape what we perceive and remember

Time: 07.06.2018, 17.15 Uhr

Place: L010, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Dr. Katja Kornysheva (School of Psychology and Bangor Brain Imaging Unit, Bangor University, Bangor Wales, UK; Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK)

Title: Neural control of skilled action sequences (Abstract)

Time: 26.04.2018, 17.15 Uhr

Place: L006, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


New article published in „Frontiers in Physiology“

White, O., Thonnard, J.L., Lefevre, P., Hermsdörfer,J. "Grip Force Adjustments Reflect Prediction of Dynamic Consequences in Varying Gravitoinertial Fields"

When our body is transferred to a new environment, such as during space-flight, can we use our body sensations to predict the new mechanical properties of the environment we interact with? This question was answered by measurements in a long arm centrifuge in collaboration with colleagues at the Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté in Dijon in France and at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. Centrifugation increased the gravity in turn increasing the weight of the body as well as the weight of objects to be grasped and lifted. Our results suggest that subjects indeed were able to scale the grip forces according to weight changes. In addition, they produced large increases of the grip force as safety margins.


New article published in "Frontiers in Human Movement Science"

Brich, L., Bächle, C., Hermsdörfer, J. & Stadler, W. (2018). „Real-Time Prediction of Observed Action Requires Integrity of the Dorsal Premotor Cortex: Evidence From Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Results from various experimental tasks employed by different research groups are in favour of a role of the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) for the prediction of dynamic events. The PMd is part of the sensorimotor brain and seems to be involved in short-term anticipation of observed action. In this study, we found action anticipation to be impaired as a consequence of interfering in the coorinated function of this area by means of non-invasive brain stimulatoin (rTMS). Replicating earlier findings, this result suggests that an intact PMd is required to anticipate the dynamics of action.


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Solveig Vieluf (University of Paderborn)

Title: (Abstract)

When: 01.02.2018, 17.15 Uhr

Where: L006, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


Nina Rohrbach was selected as one of 10 Fellows for the Graduate Program of the Center Digitization.Bayern

In August 2017, the Center Digitalisierung.Bayern (ZD.B) announced a one-time Graduate Program Fellowships starting in 2018. Ten doctoral candidates at Bavarian universities with a forward-looking research project relevant to digitization will be supported for about three years. Among 142 applicants, Nina Rohrbach, a research associate at the Department of Human Movement Science (Prof. Dr. Hermsdörfer), was able to prevail in the selection process with her research project on the "use of mixed reality in the area of neurorehabilitation". The Center Digitalisierung.Bayern (ZD.B) is a Germany-wide unique research, cooperation and start-up platform that acts as a catalyst in cooperation with industry, science, associations and public policies. In addition to the creation of an additional 20 professorships, the establishment of seven junior research groups, the establishment of ten innovation laboratories for students, and the strengthening of entrepreneurship training at eleven universities, the establishment of a doctoral program is the fifth action within the ZD.B.


Nina Rohrbach has been awarded the first presentation prize of the German Society for Physical Therapy Science (DGPTW)

On 16 and 17 November 2017, the DGPTW invited all scientists or people involved in the field of physiotherapy to the 2nd Research Symposium Physiotherapy (FSPT) at the University of Osnabrück. more


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Dr. Melvyn Roerdink (Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Title: Technology in Motion: Augmented-reality and mixed-reality applications for the study, assessment and training of walking

When: 30.11.2017, 17.15 Uhr

Where: L006, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


Program of the colloqium on sensorimotor control!


Philipp Gulde nominated for the Schmidt Science Fellows postdoctoral program

One of the doctoral students at the Chair of Human Movement Science, Philipp Gulde, has been nominated as one of five doctorial students of TUM for the “Schmidt Science Fellows Program”. more


Invitation to the colloquium on sensorimotor control

Speaker: Univ. Prof. Dr. Georg Goldenberg (former head physician neuropsychology, Clinic for Neuropsychology, Clinic Bogenhausen Munich and apl. professor, Technischen Universität München)

Title: Communication and manipulation – the dual functions of the human hand and the duality of apraxia (Abstract)

When: 23.11.2017, 17.15 Uhr

Where: L006, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60


New collaboration between the TU Munich and Northeastern University Boston

Within the framework of the EU-funded CARNIVAL project by TUM, Nina Rohrbach, research associate of the group of Joachim Hermsdoerfer (Chair of human movement science at TUM), is visiting the Rehabilitation Games and Virtual Reality (ReGame VR) Laboratory of Danielle Levac at the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Science of Northeastern University in Boston, USA, in the fall of 2017 to collaborate on current and new projects. The ReGameVR lab focuses on promoting the sustainable, evidence-based integration of virtual reality (VR) and active video gaming systems into rehabilitation. The group explores how VR-based therapy can improve motor learning, balance, functional mobility and participation in children and adults with neuromotor impairments. In October 23, Nina is giving a presentation entitled "Using Augmented Reality (AR) Technology to support Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in Patients with Chronic Neurological Diseases" with a focus on the EIT Health funded Therapy Lens project and it´s current and future applications in patients with dementia.





"Active lifestyle" from tomorrow ...

GARMIN, global market leader for mobile navigation solutions, was guest at the TU.


Workshop of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Konczak, University of Minnesota

On July 24th, 2017 Prof. Jürgen Konczak from the University of Minnesota, who is currently staying at TUM as part of the August-Wilhem Scheer Visiting Professorship, will give a workshop "Biomechanical, electrophysiological and neuronal measures of sensorimotor performance and motor learning in atypical populations". The workshop is for students of the FGZ as well as Post-docs.



New article published in "Experimental Brain Research"

Gulde, P. (2017). "Both hands at work: the effect of aging on upper-limb kinematics in a multi-step activity of daily living"

Activities of daily living appear simple and easy to handle to us. But even in healthy elderlies a decline in performance can be observed. In this study we evaluated the impact of age on the (bimanual) performance of elderly participants in the activity of daily living of making a cup of tea. Our kinematic analyses revealed that the observed particularities in the execution of the task could be best explained by the cognitive decline caused by aging.

New article published in "Frontiers in Human Movement Science"

Gulde, P. (2017). „Effects of Stroke on Ipsilesional End-Effector Kinematics in a Multi-Step Activity of Daily Living“  

The kinematic analysis of complex activities of daily living is a relatively new field of research and recent studies supported the feasibility of this approach. In this study we kinematically examined the ipsilesional hand movements of stroke survivors in the task of making a cup of tea. The applied adapted parameters showed promising results and indicated that the main problems of stroke survivors in the execution of such tasks are likely caused by the task’s complexity rather than by the motor demands of the task.


New article published in "Frontiers in Human Movement Science"

Kaulmann, D. (2017). „Disruption of right posterior parietal cortex by continuous Theta Burst Stimulation alters the control of body balance in quiet stance“  


Kick-off meeting at TUM for the new Therapy Lens Project

The Therapy Lens project had their official kick-off meeting at Technical University Munich on January 12th – 13th 2017. Using the Microsoft HoloLens device, the project aims to develop an augmented reality software application for supporting patients with neurological diseases in activities of daily living. While wearing the HoloLens users perform a daily task in real life while the Therapy Lens application provides embedded support in the form of holographic objects and cues designed to guide users towards a successful outcome. The project is led by TUM in collaboration with IMEC, RWTH Aachen University, MADoPA and CapDigitaL. (Funded by EIT Health)


New article published in "Neuropsychologia"

Salazar-Lopez, E., Schwaiger, B., & Hermsdörfer, J. (2016). Lesion correlates of impairments in actual tool use following unilateral brain damage.


New article published in "Neural Plasticity"

Research has often demonstrated that a regular beat in music makes it easier for us to perceive and synchronize with musical rhythms. Here we show that a similar process is taking place when we observe dance movements: We use the regular pattern in the trajectory as a visual beat, which assists us in timing the movement sequence perceptually. These results not only reveal parallel perceptual mechanisms for music and dance rhythms, but also yield implications in how we can acquire movement skills by perceptual learning.

Yi-Huang Su & Elvira Salazar-López (2016). Visual Timing of Structured Dance Movements Resembles Auditory Rhythm Perception. Neural Plasticity, vol. 2016, Article ID 1678390. doi:10.1155/2016/1678390


New article published in "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience"

Ever feel this urge to tap your foot along when you hear groovy music? This is a typical example of “sensorimotor synchronization”, where we synchronize a regular pattern of movement (e.g., foot tapping, head nodding) to rhythmic sensory information such as music. This study shows that similar mechanisms exist when we observe rhythmic dance movements: We can pick up a regular beat in the movement and tap along with it. As with music, tapping to dance stimuli is also influenced by intricate rhythm information in the entire movement.

Su, Y-H (2016) Sensorimotor Synchronization with Different Metrical Levels of Point-Light Dance Movements. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:186. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00186


New article published in "Scientific Reports"

We all listen to music and get the rhythm easily: for example, we move naturally to the beat. But could we also “see” the rhythm of dance movements in a similar manner? This study is part of the ongoing project that investigates how humans visually perceive and synchronize to the rhythm of dance movements, and how this process compares to that in hearing musical rhythms. The first results suggest that rhythm perception in dance may engage similar principles to rhythm perception in music. Su, Y.-H., (2016).

Visual tuning and metrical perception of realistic point-light dance movements. Scientific Reports, 6:22774. doi: 10.1038/srep22774.


Newly funded project „Active Hands“

The Chair of Human Movement Science successfully applied for a new project in the EIT Health program. With this initiative the „European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT)“ supports innovations for healthy living and active aging. The project “Active Hands” will provide methods to prevent or reduce the consequence of deficits in performing complex activities of daily living - such as during food preparation or daily hygiene – that arise in old age and due to central nervous system diseases. “Active Hands” will thus promote independent and autonomous living.  The project is coordinated by the Chair of Human Movement Science and has four other partners from Spain and France. The planned duration is three years and the funding of the first project year amounts at 450.000 € for the whole group.


New project ROLITOS start: Robotic light touch support during locomotion in balance impaired humans

In clinical settings, caregivers provide manual support during locomotion to patients with impaired body balance. Thus, interpersonal manual support represents an ecologically valid and effective strategy for controlling a patients' fall risk in dynamic postural activities. From a therapeutic point of view, however, restricting patient's movement degrees of freedom by grasping his body to support his weight has to be considered inadequate for the purpose of practicing own control of body balance. A more promising strategy is balance support provided in a 'light touch' fashion, for example by lightly resting a hand on the back or shoulder of a patient without taking patient's weight. We like to ask which are the qualities that make an expert healthcare provider so efficient in the provision of adaptive manual balance support? We believe the answer is associated with the ability to anticipate a patient's dynamics. The scientific aim of the research project is, therefore to improve the understanding of interpersonal dynamics of light touch in general and the caregiver-patient interaction during light interpersonal touch stabilisation in particular. Our engineering aim is the translation of the principles of human-to-human interpersonal coordination for light tactile balance support into a robotic solution. Major outcomes will be measures of the contact receiver's postural stability and interpersonal coordination with the provider but also autonomic measures of the receiver's state anxiety of falling. The later will express human acceptance of the robotic balance support.


Visit of the Virtual Reality and Visualization Centre at the Leibnitz Rechenzentrum

On Tuesday, 22nd July the working group visited the Centre for Virtual Reality und Visualization (V2C) at the Leibniz Rechenzentrum. The centre provides a high resolution projection screen for visualization purposes and a “VR cave” with a 5-sided projection-installation for creating virtual reality scenarios. This installation makes it possible to create a realistic manipulable 3D world in which a subject can act. The cave therefore offers exciting possibilities for research in human movement science. We thank the V2C for the presentation of their installations and hope for further cooperations.


New article published in "Neuroscience":

M.M.N. Bieńkiewicz, W.R. Young, C.M. Craig (2014) Balls to the wall: How acoustic information from a ball in motion guides interceptive movement in people with Parkinson’s disease



New research article published in "Acta Psychologica":

Su, Y.-H. (2014). Audiovisual beat induction in complex auditory rhythms: Point-light figure movement as an effective visual beat. Acta Psychologica, 151, 40–50. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.05.016


Invitation "sensorimotor control" colloquium

On July 3rd, 2014 Tamara Lorenz from LMU, CoTeSys, will talk about movement synchronization in human interaction and its applicability in human-robot interaction. 

Thursday 5:30 pm, Campus D, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60, ground floor, L006


Invitation "sensorimotor control" colloquium

On June 27th, 2014 Pia Vinken from Leibniz University of Hannover, Department for Sports Science will talk about Auditory recognition of sonified upper-limb actions and visual perception during complex whole-body movements. 

Friday 10:00 am, Campus D, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60, ground floor, L006


Invitation „sensorimotor control“ colloquium

On June 12th, 2014 Andrea Geipel, research associate of our faculty (Chair of Sportpsychology) will talk about short term exercise effects on attention

Thursday 5:30 pm, Campus D, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60, ground floor, L006


New Research article published in Brain and Cognition:

Su, Y.-H. (2014) Visual enhancement of auditory beat perception across auditory interference levels. Brain and Cognition, 90, 19-31.


Invitation "sensorimotor control" colloquium

On June 5th, 2014 our co-worker Marie-Luise Brandi will talk about the neural correlates of planning and executing actual tool use.

Thursday 5:30 pm, Campus D, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60, ground floor, L006


New Research article published in PLoS ONE:

Markus Huber, Yi-Huang Su, Melanie Krüger, Katrin Faschian, Stefan Glasauer, Joachim Hermsdörfer (2014) Adjustments of speed and path when avoiding collisions with another pedestrian, PlosOne, 9(2): e89589.

In the present study we investigated the collision avoidance behavior of pedestrians walking at different speeds in the presence of a non-reactive interferer crossing at different angles.


New Research article published in Frontiers in Psychology:

Marta M. N. Bieńkiewicz, Marie-Luise Brandi, Georg Goldenberg, Charmayne M. L. Hughes and Joachim Hermsdörfer (2014) The tool in the brain: apraxia in ADL. Behavioral and neurological correlates of apraxia in daily living, Frontiers in Psychology.