2019 Harris Lecture to explore how emotions influence motor performance in sport

Marjorie S. Miller
March 14, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Christopher Janelle, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Health and Human Performance and professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, will present the lecture “Emotional Expression: How Emotions Influence Motor Behavior” from 3:05 to 4:20 p.m. March 28 in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building, on Penn State's University Park campus.

Christopher-Janelle

Christopher Janelle, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Health and Human Performance and professor in the Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida, will present the 2019 Dorothy V. Harris Lecture Series in Sport Psychology. The lecture, hosted by the Department of Kinesiology, will address how motor performances are influenced by emotions — in sport and beyond. 

IMAGE: University of Florida

Janelle’s talk is part of the Dorothy V. Harris Lecture Series in Sport Psychology hosted by the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Development. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. 

Janelle’s presentation will explore the emotional influences on motor performance within sport and in other contexts. He will summarize how emotion-motivated behavioral predispositions manifest in the execution of simple and complex movements that underlie sport and other tasks. 

His talk also will address how emotional reactivity influences the parameters underlying execution of upper extremity and whole-body movements. 

Implications will be discussed for athletes and other performers who are consistently challenged to execute motor skills in emotionally charged situations. Janelle also will offer recommendations concerning how this fundamental work can inform interventions for individuals with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Janelle is director of the Performance Psychology Laboratory (PPL) at the University of Florida.

His research team at the PPL seeks to determine how human emotions affect motor performance. Sport-specific research in the PPL has contributed novel understanding of how moment-to-moment fluctuations in emotional state affect perceptual processes and the motor system’s ensuing responses to environmental stimuli. 

Janelle has published more than 80 papers in refereed journals, as well as 18 book chapters. 

He also co-authored the second edition of the “Handbook of Sport Psychology.” Janelle’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, among other foundations and federal agencies, and he has presented his research widely at national and international meetings. 

He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, Human Movement Science, and the International Review of Sport & Exercise Psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and in 2002 was recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology for early career excellence in scholarship. 

In addition to his scholarly work, Janelle has served as a sport psychology consultant with collegiate, Olympic, professional and youth sport athletes. 

The Dorothy V. Harris Lecture Series in Sport Psychology honors Dorothy Harris, a Penn State alumna, past faculty member, and pioneer in the fields of sport psychology and women in sport. 

While at Penn State, Harris developed one of the first graduate programs in sport psychology in the country. Later, she became the first woman president of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State in 1982, and in 2004, the Board of Trustees named a residence hall on the University Park campus in her honor. Begun in 1995, the lecture is presented annually in memory of Harris, who died in 1991.

The first year of the Harris lecture was 1995-96, and since then the series has hosted 20 distinguished speakers who are considered some of the leading figures in sport/exercise psychology.

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Last Updated March 14, 2019