Dexterity and Its Development

By Mark L. Latash; Michael T. Turvey et al. | Go to book overview

From the Author

There is still much confusion in the understanding of dexterity in both its psychological and pedagogical aspects. None of the previously proposed definitions of this capacity has been able to win general acceptance. There is also an extreme shortage of facts from everyday observations and, even more so, from experiments.

During the past years, the general physiology and psychophysiology of movements have attained considerable success, which is due partly to the studies of athletic and gymnastic movements as the most perfect examples of healthy movements, and, on the other hand, to the studies of motor pathologies based on the abundant information on soldiers wounded during the Great Patriotic War ( World War II). So, it seemed reasonable to try to move forward in the area of motor dexterity and its development based on the new concepts that have emerged in this area. As far as the general problems of motor coordination are concerned, we refer our readers to the book On the Construction of Movements, in which these problems have been carefully examined. Here, let us present only a brief summary from that work of the most important, basic ideas that are crucial for analyzing dexterity.

According to contemporary views, any mobile system, which is not forced to follow a fixed trajectory (like most existing machines), that is, which has more than one degree of freedom, needs a special organization that makes it controllable. The peripheral human skeletal-articular-muscular apparatus has numerous redundant degrees of freedom, numbering many dozens. The totality of the psychophysiological mechanisms of motor coordination represents the organization of

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Dexterity and Its Development
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Resources for Ecological Psychology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Resources for Ecological Psychology ix
  • Series Dedication x
  • Part I on Dexterity and Its Development 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Essay 1 What Is Dexterity? 9
  • Essay2 on Motor Control 25
  • Essay3 on the Origin of Movements 45
  • Essay 4 on the Construction of Movements 97
  • Essays 5 Levels of Construction of Movements 115
  • Essay 6 on Exercise and Motor Skill 171
  • Essay 7 Dexterity and Its Features 207
  • From the Author 237
  • Part II Commentaries 245
  • N. A. Bernstein: the Reformer of Neuroscience 247
  • References 275
  • The Bernstein Problem: How Does the Central Nervous System Make Its Choices? 277
  • On the Biomechanical Basis of Dexterity 305
  • Dynamics of Bernstein's Level of Synergies 339
  • Dexterity in Cascade Juggling 377
  • Change in Movement and Skill: Learning, Retention, and Transfer 393
  • Further Reading 429
  • The Primacy of Action in Development 431
  • References 450
  • Author Index 453
  • Subject Index 457
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