Haughey, Laura (2013) Practical Proprioception: An Examination of a Core Physiological Foundation for Physical Performance Training. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Proprioception is both the means by which people naturally have a pre-reflective awareness of their bodies, and the mechanism by which performers (and others) can develop advanced levels of bodily awareness in the service of physical skill and psychophysical fluency. These two qualities are amongst the most important for contemporary performers, and this thesis demonstrates how an understanding of proprioception and its enhancement provides a strong foundation for performance training.

The original contribution to knowledge in this thesis is to cross epistemological boundaries and bring the scientific research, theory and discourse to the field of actor training, where previously this has not been done. This thesis synthesises theories and definitions of proprioception to provide a clear and comprehensive overview, establishes the functions that proprioception performs, maps relationships between proprioception and related terms and concepts, and argues that proprioception provides a comprehensive model for a core physiological foundation for physical performance training.

The research questions under investigation are ‘Can proprioception in physical performers be improved and if so, how will increased proprioception be of benefit to the performer?’ Two research studies are carried out to investigate whether proprioception could be improved in physical performers after targeted proprioceptive training. The studies also explore what benefits the performers accrued during the training and how improved proprioception manifested in their levels of performance. The studies show that proprioception can be improved in performers after participating in proprioceptive training, and demonstrate, explore and evidence that this improvement brings an enhancement in physical performance. Methodologically, an approach is proposed to evaluate training practices which is based in a practice led research paradigm. This research is of interest to actors who use their bodies for specialist skilled movement in training and performance and who undertake a physical approach to their work, and particularly pertinent to actor trainers, providing a rationale to inform, support and enhance training methodologies.

lhaugheyfinalthesis.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (3MB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email