Looking back at the international conference “Multisensory Motor Behavior – Impact of Sound”

On September 30th and October 1st, leading experts in the fields of sports science, rehabilitation, engineering, and neuroscience came together to highlight the current state and future directions of research on the topic “Multisensory Motor Behavior: Impact of Sound”.

The dvs-event was hosted by the Institute of Sports Science, Leibniz University Hanover (Prof. Dr. Alfred O. Effenberg & Dr. Gerd Schmitz) as well as the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, ETH Zurich (Dr. Peter Wolf).

The single-track conference provided a framework for 90 participants from 10 different countries who came together for presentations, discussions and an intensive exchange of experiences on current research results on the multisensory basis on motor behavior and the effectiveness of acoustical information.

Invited to Hanover were the keynote speakers Günther Knoblich, Marc Ernst, Stephan Swinnen, Charles Spence, Roberto Bresin and Elisabetta Làdavas.
The exceptional amount and continuous presence of renowned experts was perceived/appreciated as an attractive offer to exchange knowledge – especially by young researchers.

Ernst, Effenberg, Maassen
Münte, Ernst, Schmitz

The welcoming notes were held by Erich Barke, president of the Leibniz University Hanover, and Norbert Maassen, GD of the Institute of Sports Science, Leibniz University Hanover.
Thereafter the 2-day-programme started with an inspiring talk from Günther Knoblich (Budapest) on the topic „Producing and perceiving sounds together“. At the end everyone knew that it is not possible not to interact with one another.

The second session was moderated by Thomas Münte (Lübeck). Marc Ernst (Bielefeld) enthralled the audience with his presentation on „The benefits and costs of multisensory perception”. His research results showed impressively, how the brain combines information from different sensory channels and movement experiences.

The final scientific block of the first conference day was chaired by Niki Wenderoth (Zurich). She introduced the main research areas of the keynote speaker Stephan Swinnen (Leuven), who summarized the results of his multi-faceted locomotion research in his talk „Augmented visual and auditory feedback and the acquisition of coordination skills”.

Swinnen, Wenderoth, Zentgraf,
Bischoff, Bresin
Spence, Wolf
Wolf, Schmitz, Effenberg

Dr. Andreas Sennheiser (CEO Sennheiser) described some of his personal experiences with movement-sound interactions welcoming all participants to the second conference day.

Matthias Weigelt (Paderborn) introduced Charles Spence (Oxford), who held the first scientific presentation of the day. During his talk on „Multisensory influences on motor behavior and vice versa“, he invited the conference guests to actively try some parts of the presented research protocols.

Roberto Bresin (Stockholm) was introduced by Frederic Bevilacqua (Paris). He presented a metaanalysis on mapping strategies in studies on sonification: „Sonification of physical quantities: an overview over the most used mapping strategies, with some examples in sport applications“.

The next keynote speaker Elisabetta Làdavas (Bologna) was introduced by Claudia Voelcker-Rehage (Bremen). In her presentation „Recovery of a unisensory deficit following multisensory rehabilitation” she reported of their achievements in rehabilitation using different forms of multisensory stimulation.

The organisers of the conference Alfred Effenberg (Hannover), Gerd Schmitz (Hannover) and Peter Wolf (Zurich) concluded the programme with a presentation on „Sonification in sport and rehabilitation“ and a final discussion.

Sound was not only important in the scientific context. The performance of the A cappella-Band str8voices showed impressively that sound can also move us beneath.

A special thanks goes to the “Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft” and the “Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft” who supported the scientific part of the conference. Visual impressions of the conference can be found at:

The high interest of experts in neuroscience, engineering, rehabilitation, locomotion research and sports science shows the transdisciplinary relevance of the conference topic „Multisensory Motor Behavior – Impact of Sound”. The field of sports science was capable of providing the right framework for an intensive interdisciplinary exchange of experiences.

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