Associate Professor Greg Anson

TTC (Ardmore), DipPE (Otago), MSc (Wyoming), PhD (Penn State)

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Head of Department


I am an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Exercise Sciences,  Head of the Tāmaki Campus and Associate Dean, Science at Tāmaki. I received my PhD from Penn State University in 1980. I held academic positions in movement neuroscience at the University of Washington and Oregon State University before returning to New Zealand and the School of Physical Education at the University of Otago in 1985. I was inducted as an International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (America) in 1997. In 2010 I was appointed Head of the Department of Exercise Sciences at the University of Auckland.

Research | Current

How does the brain control movement?

With students, and other collaborators we seek to find answers to this question using neurophysiological and behavioural tools to investigate, how humans learn, perform and control simple and complex movements that influence activities of daily living. In particular we are interested in the effects of motor conversion disorder, aging, fatigue, hypnosis and cognitive dysfunction on the neuromuscular mechanisms that affect planning and performance of hand and arm movements.


Teaching | Current

Coordinator, EXERSCI 792 A/B MSc Clinical Exercise Physiology research dissertation
Assessor EXERSCI 204, 304, 711

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Alexa Srzich

MSc Jessebel Chan


2018        Elected member, Board, International Society of Motor Control
2012        Convenor: University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series “Exercise is Medicine”
2010-       Elected: Deputy Chair, NZ Tertiary Council for Physical Activity, Sport and Exercise
2010        Convenor, Symposium “Exercise and Science – The Health of Our Nation”, School of Population  
               Health, University of Auckland, Tamaki Innovation Campus
1997        Elected and Inducted: International Fellow of the American National Academy of Kinesiology (FNAK)
1989        Invitation to participate in the 1st Conference on Motor Control in Down Syndrome, Down Syndrome  
               Research Fund, Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois


2004-2009 Director, Applied Science Programme, University of Otago

2010-         Head, Department of Exercise Sciences

2013-         Head of the Tāmaki Campus

2013-         Associate Dean, Science, Tāmaki Campus

Areas of expertise

  • Movement neuroscience and motor control

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2019             Chair, Organising Committee, Progress in Motor Control-XIII conference, Auckland,  2021

2019             Faculty of Science representative, Newmarket Campus Governance Group

2018-2021    Academic Heads rep, University of Auckland Staffing Committee

2016             Science HOD’s rep, Faculty of Science Staffing Committee

2016-2018    Chair, Exercise Sciences Steering Committee, New building design and construction

2008             Section Editor, Psychology & Psychopathology Section, Motor Control

2009             Member, Governance Board, University of Auckland Clinics

2007             Reviewer for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

1999             Associate Editor of the American College of Sports Medicine Journal, Exercise and Sport 
                     Sciences Reviews
(1999-2003) (NSERC), July 2007, Reviewer ID#: 295047

1996             Invited to the Editorial Board of Human Movement Science (Editor, Professor H.T.A. Whiting, 
                     York University, United Kingdom)

1996             Invited to the Editorial Board of a new journal (Motor Control) Human Kinetics Publishers

1995             Invited by Professor H.T.A. Whiting (Editor, Human Movement Science) to co-edit (with Dr 
                     M.L. Latash, Penn State University) a special issue focusing on Motor Control

1993             Invited to serve on Organising Committee for and present a paper to 2nd International 
                     Conference on Motor Control in Down Syndrome

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Blakemore, R. L., Hyland, B. I., Hammond-Tooke, G. D., & Anson, J. G. (2013). Distinct Modulation of Event-Related Potentials during Motor Preparation in Patients with Motor Conversion Disorder. PLoS One, 8 (4), 1-8. 10.1371/journal.pone.0062539
  • Anson, G. (2012). Hemiparesis and motor conversion disorder. Paper presented at Centre for Brain Research seminar, Auckland Hospital Clinical Education Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. 27 September - 27 September 2012.
  • Anson, J. G., Hyland, B. I., & Scott, R. L. (25/9/2011). Event-related potentials provide clues to understanding motor Conversion Disorder. Poster presented at XI International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Palma, Mallorca, Spain.
  • Anson, J. G. (2011). Your Brain is Your Biggest Muscle: Exercise It. Paper presented at Tasmanian Haematology Immunology & Neoplasia Group, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. 13 May - 15 May 2011.
  • Scott, R. L., & Anson, J. G. (2011). Distinct Neural Mechanisms Underlie Movement Deficits in Conversion and Feigned Paresis. Paper presented at Sensorimotor Control Satellite Meeting, Australian Society for Neuroscience, University of Auckland, New Zealand. 30 January - 31 January 2011.
  • Scott, R. L., Hyland, B. I., Hammond-Tooke, G. D., Franz, E. A., Shemmell, J., & Anson, J. G. (2010). Neural mechanisms of impaired volitional movement in Conversion Disorder. Paper presented at Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego, CA, USA. 13 November - 17 November 2010.
  • Anson, J. G., Scott, R. L., & Hyland, B. I. (2010). Motor preparation of ‘extent’ is reflected in left hemisphere contingent negative variation. Paper presented at North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Tucson, Arizona. 10 June - 12 June 2010. NASPSPA Program and Abstracts. (pp. 1).
  • Scott, R. L., Hyland, B. I., Hammond-Tooke, G. D., Franz, E. A., & Anson, J. G. (2010). Feigned paresis affects behaviour but not neuromotor preparatory activity. Paper presented at Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research, Edgewater Hotel, Wanaka, New Zealand. 30 August - 1 September 2010. Proceedings of the International Australasian Winter Conference on Brain Research. (pp. 1).


Contact details

Primary office location

BUILDING 907 - Bldg 907
Level 2, Room 231
New Zealand

Web links