Dexterity and Its Development

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

N. A. Bernstein: The Reformer of Neuroscience

I. M. Feigenberg Jerusalem, Israel

L. P. Latash Chicago, Illinois

Habent sua fata libelli ("Books have their own fate"), just like their authors. In both cases, an individual fate reflects the epoch, the social situation, and, in general, what is called the spirit of the times. The book by N. A. Bernstein On Dexterity and Its Development has its own fate, one resembling the fate of its author. Both were hard and dramatic, nearly driving the book and the author to the edge of annihilation, a fate similar to that of many people in Russia ( Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) in the middle of this century. A great Russian writer, Mikhail Bulgakov, said, "Manuscripts do not burn." However, manuscripts and books did burn in the 20th century, both in Germany and in Russia. This book was lucky--it did not burn to ashes. More precisely, we are lucky to be able to read it.

We are going to describe briefly the biography of On Dexterity, the biography of its author, and the biography of some of his ideas. So, this chapter consists of three circles. There will certainly be intersections of the circles because some of the material is relevant to two or even to all three of the biographies. However, at each of these intersections, we try not to repeat the facts but to present their new meaning with respect to the book, its author, or his ideas.


N. A. BERNSTEIN IN POSTWAR RUSSIA

Let us move half a century back, to Moscow of the middle 1940s, when the manuscript of this book rested on the desk of its author. The time was just after the end of 4 years of exhausting war with Nazi Germany and its allies. Despite

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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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