Professor Alan Wing

Professor Alan Wing

School of Psychology
Professor of Human Movement

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


BSc (Edinburgh), PhD (McMaster)


Sensory processes and internal models for movement control.

I am interested in anticipatory aspects of human movement control evident in tasks ranging from fine adjustments in grip when manipulating an object with the hands to whole body postural adjustments in keeping balanced when lifting an object while standing. Such actions are critically dependent on the orderly, coordinated recruitment of many muscles. However also important is the selection and integration of sensory information coming from visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sources. This sensory input may be used as feedback to adjust movements that fail to attain their target. But the information also serves to correct inaccurate stored information about the environment and/or the effector system, so reducing the likelihood of correction being required on another occasion. An important goal for research is to understand how the brain uses sensory input to develop and maintain accurate representations (internal models) for adaptive planning and control of movement. When we imagine an action, there is a feeling of it taking place that has a distinct time course; indeed it has been shown that the duration of imagined action is very similar to the corresponding real movement. It is conceivable that internal models that underlie overt movement contribute to imagining movement and current research asks whether imagined movement evolves in parallel with sensory induced changes in internal models.


Highlight publications

Deflorio, D, Di Luca, M & Wing, AM 2022, 'Skin properties and afferent density in the deterioration of tactile spatial acuity with age', The Journal of Physiology, pp. 1-17.

Deflorio, D, Di Luca, M & Wing, A 2022, 'Skin and mechanoreceptor contribution to tactile input for perception: a review of simulation models', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 16, 862344.

Roberts, R, Loomes, A, Allen, H, Di Luca, M & Wing, A 2020, 'Contact forces in roughness discrimination', Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, 5108 .

Howe, J, Chua, W, Sumner, E, Drozdowska, B, Laverick, R, Bevins, RL, Jean-baptiste, E, Russell, M, Rotshtein, P & Wing, AM 2022, 'The efficacy of a task model approach to ADL rehabilitation in stroke apraxia and action disorganisation syndrome: a randomised controlled trial', PLOS One, vol. 17, no. 3, e0264678.

Wing, A, Witek, M, Stables, R & Bradbury, A 2022, Ensemble timing in string quartets. in M Phillips & M Sergeant (eds), Music and Time: Psychology, Philosophy, Practice. Boydell & Brewer, pp. 73-96. <>

Recent publications


Elliott, MT, Ward, D, Stables, R, Fraser, D, Jacoby, N & Wing, AM 2018, Analysing multi-person timing in music and movement : event based methods.


Rosenthal, O, Wing, A, Wyatt, J, Punt, T, Brownless, B, Koko, C & Miall, R 2019, 'Boosting robot-assisted rehabilitation of stroke hemiparesis by individualized selection of upper limb movements: a pilot study', J Neuroeng Rehabil, vol. 16, no. 1, 42.

Arnold, A, Wing, A & Rotshtein, P 2017, 'Building a Lego wall: Sequential action selection', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 847-852.

Baber, C, Russell, M, Wing, A, Hermsdorfer, J & Khattab, A 2017, 'Creating Affording Situations: Coaching through Animate Objects', Sensors, vol. 17, no. 2308, 2308, pp. 1-17.

Johannsen, L, Coward, S, Martin, G, Wing, A, van Casteren, A, Sellers, W, Ennos, R, Crompton, R & Thorpe, S 2017, 'Human bipedal instability in tree canopy environments is reduced by “light touch” fingertip support', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 1135.

Rosenthal, O, Wing, A, Wyatt, J, Punt, T & Miall, R 2017, 'Mapping upper-limb motor performance after stroke - a novel method with utility for individualized motor training', Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, vol. 14, 127.

Wright, RL, Brownless, SB, Pratt, D, Sackley, CM & Wing, AM 2017, 'Stepping to the Beat: Feasibility and Potential Efficacy of a Home-Based Auditory-Cued Step Training Program in Chronic Stroke', Frontiers in neurology, vol. 8, 412.

Honisch, J, Elliott, MT, Jacoby, N & Wing, AM 2016, 'Cue properties change timing strategies in group movement synchronisation', Scientific Reports, vol. 6, 19439.

Wright, R, Bevins, J, Pratt, D, Sackley, C & Wing, A 2016, 'Metronome cueing of walking reduces gait variability after a cerebellar stroke', Frontiers in neurology, vol. 7, 84.


Rosenthal, O, Wing, AM, Wyatt, JL, Punt, D, Brownless, B, Ko-Ko, C & Miall, RC 2019, 'Correction to:: Boosting robot-assisted rehabilitation of stroke hemiparesis by individualized selection of upper limb movements - A pilot study (Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation DOI: 10.1186/s12984-019-0513-0)', Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, vol. 16, no. 1, 51.

Conference contribution

Ortenzi, V, Filipovica, M, Abdlkarim, D, Pardi, T, Takahashi, C, Wing, A, Di Luca, M & Kuchenbecker, KJ 2022, Robot, pass me the tool: handle visibility facilitates task-oriented handovers. in HRI '22: Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, ACM/IEEE, pp. 256–264, HRI '22, 7/03/22.

Abdlkarim, D, Ortenzi, V, Pardi, T, Filipovica, M, Wing, A, Kuchenbecker, KJ & Di Luca, M 2021, PrendoSim: proxy-hand-based robot grasp generator. in O Gusikhin, H Nijmeijer & K Madani (eds), Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics. SciTePress Digital Library, pp. 60-68, 18th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics, 6/07/21.

Baber, C, Khattab, A, Hermsdörfer, J, Wing, A & Russell, M 2017, Coaching through smart objects. in PervasiveHealth '17: Proceedings of the 11th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Association for Computing Machinery , pp. 298-306, 11th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare, PervasiveHealth 2017, Barcelona, Spain, 23/05/17.


Tomczak, M, Li, MS, Bradbury, A, Elliott, M, Stables, R, Witek, M, Goodman, T, Abdlkarim, D, Luca, MD, Wing, A & Hockman, J 2022 'Annotation of soft onsets in string ensemble recordings' arXiv.


Abdlkarim, D, Filipovica, M, Pardi, T, Ortenzi, V, Wing, A, Kuchenbecker, KJ & Di Luca, M, PrendoSim, 2021, Software. <>

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