Educated - a memoir:
One of the best books I’ve ever read. I really can’t recommend this strongly enough. In Educated
, Tara Westover tells her story, from an upbringing in a family of survivalists in the mountains of Idaho to her ‘escape’ and subsequent education in later years. I’m really not doing it justice in this description, but it’s gripping, incredibly well written, and extremely thought-provoking throughout.
How we learn to move:
Another great book
, but this one is more discipline-specific. Rob Gray provides an excellent introduction to many skill acquisition concepts, always explicitly informed by research. His storytelling abilities are inspiring, explaining complex topics through relatable and entertaining examples.
Thinking through doing:
Following on from Rob’s book above, I believe a good understanding of principles related to motor control and skill acquisition is essential for a biomechanist. This paper
by Carl Woods and Keith Davids explores the idea that we think through making and doing, rather than making and doing through thinking. Like anything from these authors, it’s well worth a read.
Conservation of energy:
Not a read, but a short watch. This
is a fantastic way for a lecturer to demonstrate the conversion between potential and kinetic energy. Always helps to add a bit of danger to the situation!
On the subject of teaching, ISBS published a series of problem-based learning session plans based on last year’s conference workshop. All eight can be accessed here
, including mine
using netball/basketball shooting for projectile motion.
SPM amplitude or temporal effects:
As many know from my tutorial videos
, I’m a big fan of the work Todd Pataky and colleagues have done in providing open-source code and resources for the use of statistical parametric mapping (SPM) within biomechanics. Their latest work
includes a method for simultaneously assessing the temporal and amplitude effects. Previously, we would get significant differences and be unsure if it was due to changes in magnitude or timing of our kinetic or kinematic variables. This follows on from previous work
that used separate SPM tests to assess the timing and magnitude effects.
Effects of wobbling masses:
We know that soft tissue displaces relative to the underlying bone following an impact. This has been incorporated within simulation models
to more accurately match experimental ground reaction forces. However, this new article
shows that wobbling masses can affect joint kinetics during running, suggesting that they should perhaps be incorporated within inverse dynamics analyses. We recently
suggested similar for effects of joint compliance, so it is great to see these aspects being assessed and reported.