Faculty of Biological Sciences

Dr Andrea Utley

BA (Hons), PGCE, Leeds Metropolitan, PhD 1998, Leeds
Reader in Motor Control and Development
School of Biomedical Sciences

Background: BA (Hons) Human Movement Studies 1984, PGCE Physical Education 1985. PhD University of Leeds 1998. Lecturer, School of Education, University of Leeds, 1993 - 1997. Senior Lecturer. Motor Control and Learning, Leeds Metropolitan University, 1997-1999. Senior Lecturer, Director Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Institute of Systems and Membranes Biology, University of Leeds, 1999 - current

Contact:  Miall 4.10, +44(0) 113 34 35087, email address for  

You can read more about Dr Utley's interests here:
www.leeds.ac.uk/sports_science/staff/au.htm

Research Interests

Motor and Behavioural Science Research Group

This group addresses the mechanisms of control and disorders of co-ordination in conditions such as hemiplegic cerebral palsy and Developmental Coordination Disorder. A particular research interest is how children and adults with a range of movement difficulties are able to control their movements in a variety of contexts. Detailed analysis of reaching/ grasping and catching in children has revealed how these children attempt to control multiple degrees of freedom. It also addresses the assessment of movement and how manipulating the movement context can be used as a rehabilitative strategy. Explanations of motor development have taken a step forward through the application of ideas from proponents of dynamic systems, here movement involves the final product or whole being the active cooperation of many parts, and contains multiple subsystems all contributing in a unique manner (Thelen and Spencer 1998). The potential for some of these ideas have been initially explored in the context of reaching and grasping in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (Utley and Sugden 1998) and catching in children with DCD (Utley and Astill 2006). Such children have to overcome intrinsic constraints where the neural properties provide a direct link to the type of movement observed. External constraints such as task demands and context also influence the nature and extent of interlimb coupling. We are especially interested in the nature and extent of interlimb coupling and have provided evidence on the nature of bimanual co-ordination in children with cerebral palsy. This work has indicated that one solution to the degrees of freedom problem during upper limb movements is to couple the limbs therefore reducing the number of degrees of freedom to be controlled.

Collaboration with Leeds University Motor Impairment Group (LUMIG) and external collaborators at the University of Nijmegen (The Netherlands) and University of Minnesota (USA). Techniques employed include kinematic analysis, electromyography, eye-tracking and modelling.

 

Funding: British Council, ESRC, Nuffield Institute

 

Current Projects

  • Manual skills in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
  • Learning to control multiple degrees of freedom during dynamic balance.
 

Faculty Research and Innovation



Studentship information

Undergraduate project topics:

  • Movement control from a dynamical systems perspective.

See also:

Modules managed

SPSC2240 - Human Motor Development
SPSC3061 - Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science II
SPSC3329 - Motor and Psychological Aspects of Rehabilitation

Modules taught

SPSC1031 - Motor Control: Foundations of Control and Learning
SPSC2240 - Human Motor Development
SPSC2308 - Motor Control: Learning and Implications for Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
SPSC2308/2031 - Motor Control
SPSC3061 - Research Project in Sport and Exercise Science II
SPSC3061/5382M - SPSC projects
SPSC3301 - Inter-disciplinary Issues in Sport and Exercise Science
SPSC3329 - Motor and Psychological Aspects of Rehabilitation
SPSC5314M - Personal Development and Employability for Sport and Exercise Scientists

Group Leader Dr Andrea Utley  (Reader in Motor Control and Development)

Motor and Behavioural Science Research Group 

Dr Sally Whiteman  (Enterprise Officer)

Postgraduates

Mayan Omair (Primary supervisor) 70% FTE
Andrew Bradshaw (Co-supervisor) 20% FTE
Sam White (Co-supervisor) 10% FTE

Coats ROA, Britten L, Utley A, Astill SL Multisensory integration in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder Human Movement Science 43 15-22, 2015
DOI:10.1016/j.humov.2015.06.011
View abstract

Burke SM, Utley A Climbing towards recovery: investigating physically injured combat veterans' psychosocial response to scaling Mt. Kilimanjaro DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 35 732-739, 2013
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2012.707743

Burke SM, Utley A Psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery: the role of physical activity INTRODUCTION DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION 35 2029-2029, 2013
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2013.824170

Steenbergen B, Utley A, Sugden DA, Thiemann PS Discrete bimanual movement co-ordination in children with hemiparetic cerebral palsy In Development of movement Co-Ordination in Children: Applications in the Fields of Ergonomics, Health Sciences and Sport , 2013
DOI:10.4324/9780203389669

Marsh BC, Astill SL, Utley A, Ichiyama RM Movement rehabilitation after spinal cord injuries: Emerging concepts and future directions BRAIN RES BULL 84 327-336, 2011
DOI:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.07.011

Utley A, Hills L Disability and Rehabilitation: Editorial Disability and Rehabilitation 32 1487-, 2010
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2010.496942

Hills L, Utley A Reflections on providing sport science support for athletes with learning difficulties DISABIL REHABIL 32 1488-1494, 2010
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2010.496940

Utley A, Hills L Exercise has a role in the rehabilitation process. Disabil Rehabil 32 1487-, 2010
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2010.496942

Utley A, Nasr M, Astill S The use of sound during exercise to assist development for children with and without movement difficulties DISABIL REHABIL 32 1495-1500, 2010
DOI:10.3109/09638288.2010.496946

Strauss D, Messenger N, Utley A, Miller S Tennis footwear: An investigation of impact characteristics Footwear Science 1 52-53, 2009
DOI:10.1080/19424280902977244

Astill S, Utley A Coupling of the reach and grasp phase during catching in children with developmental coordination disorder J MOTOR BEHAV 40 315-323, 2008

Utley A, Astill SL Developmental sequences of two-handed catching: how do children with and without developmental coordination disorder differ? Physiother Theory Pract 23 65-82, 2007
DOI:10.1080/09593980701211838
View abstract

Utley A Children with movement difficulties DISABIL REHABIL 29 1-2, 2007
DOI:10.1080/09638280600947500

Lawrence GP, Khan MA, Utley A The reliance on visual feedback for online and offline processing J SPORT EXERCISE PSY 28 S110-S110, 2006

Astill S, Utley A Two-handed catching in children with developmental coordination disorder MOTOR CONTROL 10 109-124, 2006

Utley A, Steenbergen B Discrete bimanual co-ordination in children and young adolescents with hemiparetic cerebral palsy: recent findings, implications and future research directions. Pediatr Rehabil 9 127-136, 2006
DOI:10.1080/13638490500155573
View abstract

Steenbergen B, Utley A Cerebral palsy: Recent insights into movement deviations MOTOR CONTROL 9 353-356, 2005

Utley A, Steenbergen B, Sugden DA The influence of object size on discrete bimanual co-ordination in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy DISABIL REHABIL 26 603-613, 2004
DOI:10.1080/09638280410001696674

Ward SA, Utley A Editorial Journal of The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 124 2-, 2004
DOI:10.1177/146642400312400101

Ward SA, Utley A The Physical Inactivity Epidemic Journal of The Royal Society for the Promotion of Health 124 pp.1-, 2004

Ward SA, Utley A Untitiled J R SOC PROMO HEALTH 124 2-2, 2004

Steenbergen B, Utley A, Sugden DA Constraints on bimanual coordination in cerebral palsy In Development of movement coordination in children: Applications in the field of ergonomics, health sciences and sport , 2003

Steenbergen B, Utley A, Sugden DA, Thiemann P Discrete bimanual movement coordination in children with hemiparetic cerebal palsy In Development of movement coordination in children: Applications in the field of ergonomics, health sciences and sport , 2002

Utley A, Steenbergen B, Sugden DA Discrete bimanual co-ordination in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: recent findings, implications and future research directions Clinical Rehabilitation -, 2002

Utley A, Astill S Inclusive Physical Education for Children with Special Educational Needs Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism 9 345-352, 2002

Utley A, Whitelaw SA, Hills L Equality, Differentiation, Support and A Whole School Approach - key factors in functional inclusion in Physical Education for Children with Special Educational Needs British Journal of Teaching Physical Education 37-41, 2000

Utley A, Sugden D Interlimb coupling in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy during reaching and grasping at speed. Dev Med Child Neurol 40 396-404, 1998
View abstract

Sugden DA, Talbot M, Utley A, Vickerman P, Thomas N, Cooke B Physical Education for Children with Special Needs in Mainstream Education, 1998

Utley A, Sugden DA Interlimb coupling in children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy at Speed Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 40 396-404, 1998

Utley A The role of the class teacher and the support personnel in the implementation of school integration In Helios, European Union Group 5. Imprimerie Centrale S.A. , 1996

Sugden DA, Utley A Interlimb coupling in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 37 293-309, 1995
DOI:10.1111/j.1469-8749.1995.tb12008.x
View abstract

Sugden DA, Utley A Vocabulary of grips in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy Physiotherapy Theory and Practice : an International Journal of Physical Therapy 11 67-79, 1995

Utley A Ensenanza de la Educacion Fisca Y Necesidades Educativas Especiales Actividad Fisica Adaptada 1 24-29, 1994

Burke SM, Brunet J, Wurz A, Butler C, Utley A Cycling through cancer: Exploring childhood cancer survivors’ experiences of well- and ill- being Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly -,
View abstract