Dexterity and Its Development

Dexterity and Its Development

Dexterity and Its Development

Dexterity and Its Development

Synopsis

This is a very unusual book. It brings to the English speaking reader a masterpiece written some 50 years ago by one of the greatest minds of the 20th century--Nicholai Aleksandrovich Bernstein--considered the founder of many contemporary fields of science such as biomechanics, motor control, and physiology of activity. Divided into two parts, this volume's first section is a translation of the Russian book On Dexterity and Its Development. It presents, in a very reader-friendly style, Bernstein's major ideas related to the development and control of voluntary movements in general, and to the notion of dexterity, in particular. Although very few scientific works remain interesting to the reader 50 years after they were written, this volume--now available for the first time in English--is a rare exception to this rule. His ideas are certainly not obsolete. Actually, we are just starting to grasp the depth and breadth of his thinking, especially his analysis of the complex notion of dexterity. The second section provides both a historical and a contemporary perspective on Bernstein's ideas.

The original work was directed at a wide audience ranging from specialists in biomechanics and motor behavior, to coaches, neurologists, physical therapists, athletes, and even inquisitive college and high school students. The chapters contributed by contemporary scientists mirror Bernstein's style and present new findings in the areas of biomechanics, motor control, and motor development in a way that would be both understandable to non-specialists in these areas, and informative for professionals working in different areas related to human movement. All those interested in the origins and mechanisms of the production of voluntary movements, irrespective of their educational and professional background, will find this book valuable. In addition, the unique history and composition of this text will make it helpful and attractive to historians and philosophers of science.

Excerpt

You are about to begin reading a scientific book unusual in many respects. The first part of the volume is a translation from Russian of the book On Dexterity and Its Development written about 50 years ago by one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Nicholai Aleksandrovich Bernstein. This book was not published at the time it was written because of the internal political situation in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (you can read more about this period of Russian history in the chapter by I. M. Feigenberg and L. P. Latash). For a long time it was believed that the book had been destroyed; however, this was not the case. Fortunately, the severity of the laws of the Soviet Union was softened by their notorious ineffectiveness, and one of Bernstein's students, Professor I. M. Feigenberg, found the manuscript and restored the book. The book was eventually published in 1991, 25 years after the death of its author.

Very few scientific works remain interesting to the reader 50 years after they were written. This rule is particularly true for books in which the authors try to present the state of a scientific field in a popular style, understandable not only to professionals but also to people who are generally curious but lack the particular scientific background, including college and even high-school students. Bernstein's work, however, is a rare exception to this rule, and we are sure that you will enjoy it as much as it would have been enjoyed in the 1940s had it been published at that time.

Bernstein's original book, presented in Part I, was directed at a wide audience ranging from specialists in biomechanics and motor behavior to coaches, neurologists, physical therapists, athletes, and even inquisitive college and high-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.