dr. H.J. (Harjo) de Poel

assistant professor

dr. H.J. (Harjo) de Poel
h.j.de.poel umcg.nl


Research interests

Current scientific focus


My research over the last five years focuses on movement interaction, in particular in the context of cyclical movements alongside models of coupled oscillators. The research is mainly instigated by a nonlinear dynamical perspective, specifically the coordination dynamics approach. This focus entails 1) interaction between body parts of one agent, 2) interaction between an agent and environmental sources, and 3) interaction between agents. My official appointment at the Center for Human Movement Sciences is in the area of Sport Sciences. As such, part of my recent research involves sports(-related) tasks. As the majority of sports situations comprise continuous cooperative/competitive coordination between players and/or the relevant social environmental information, the primary aim is to gain insight into such ‘socio-motor’ interactions and the processes underlying them, and (ultimately) how an agent (cf. athlete) or coach can influence them when seeking to improve (collective) performance. Examples are the projects on the interpersonal dynamics of crew rowing (De Brouwer et al., 2013; Cuijpers et al., 2015; 2017; 2019; De Poel et al., 2016) and interacting with virtual walkers (Meerhoff et al., 2014; 2017; 2019; Meerhoff & De Poel, 2014). Other examples involve analysis of interaction between opponents in singles tennis (De Poel & Noorbergen, 2017; De Poel et al., 2014; McGarry & De Poel, 2016) alongside testing an oscillator model for competitive (or: antagonistic) interpersonal interaction (De Poel, 2016) and a more recently project on interaction between two walkers, sprinters, long-distance runners, etc. (Blikslager & De Poel, 2017; Roerdink et al., 2017), which also involves running in interaction with auditory sources (e.g. music). Besides the sports-related dynamics, I also focus more generally on modelling (De Poel, 2016; Withagen et al., 2017) and universal coordination (lab-)tasks. Of particular interest is the recent examinations regarding mechanical coupling between agents (e.g., Cuijpers et al., 2019; Roerdink et al., 2017) which is a novel and exciting niche in the area of interactional behaviour.     

  1. Antiphase crew rowing on water: a first case study

    Cuijpers, L. & Poel, de, H., Nov-2017, Complex Systems in Sport, International Congress: Linking Theory and Practice. Torrents, C., Passos, P. & Cos, F. (eds.). Frontiers Media SA, p. 33-35 3 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  2. Rowing together: Synchronisation vs. syncopation

    Cuijpers, L., Zaal, F., Hartigh, den, R., Hoogerheide, A. & Poel, de, H., 2019, Studies in Perception & Action XV. Van Dijk, L. & Withagen, R. (eds.). Ipskamp Printing

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

  3. Flexible perception-action strategies: The influence of segmental and global motion information on follow-the-leader coordination

    Meerhoff, L. A., De Poel, H. J. & Button, C., 1-Jan-2017, Springer Proceedings in Complexity. Bourgine, P., Collet, P. & Parrend, P. (eds.). SPRINGER, p. 191-193 3 p. (Springer Proceedings in Complexity).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

  4. Synchronizing steps in running: pros and cons

    Poel, de, H., van der meer, E., Frank, B. & Blikslager, N., 2019.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

  5. Crew rowing: an archetype of interpersonal coordination dynamics.

    Poel, de, H., De Brouwer, A. J. & Cuijpers, L., 2016, Interpersonal coordination and performance in social systems.. Passos, P., Chow, J. Y. & Davids, K. (eds.). 1 ed. Routledge, p. 140-153 14 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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  1. Interpersonal synchronisation and syncopation

    Laura Cuijpers (Invited speaker) & Harjo Poel, de (Invited speaker)


    Activity: Talk or presentationProfessional

  2. ewep2016

    Raoul Bongers (Organiser), Frank Zaal (Organiser), Rob Withagen (Organiser), Joanne Smith (Organiser), Claudine Lamoth (Organiser), Harjo Poel, de (Organiser) & Simone Caljouw (Organiser)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conferenceAcademic

  3. International Conference on Perception and Action

    Raoul Bongers (Organiser), Simone Caljouw (Organiser), Claudine Lamoth (Organiser), Harjo de Poel (Organiser), Joanne Smith (Organiser), Rob Withagen (Organiser) & Franciscus Zaal (Organiser)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an eventAcademic

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