Dexterity and Its Development

By Michael T. Turvey; Nicholai A. Bernstein et al. | Go to book overview

Essay2
On Motor Control

In order to understand the physiological nature of the motor capacity called dexterity, one must first understand how movements are controlled in the human body. This seemingly natural and simple thing--control of movements, or as it is addressed in physiology, motor coordination, when analyzed by precise scientific methods--appears to be a complex and large enterprise that requires collective, organized participation of many physiological mechanisms.

In essay 3, we will see the reasons for the long process of the evolution and complication of this system and will discover how and by what means this development proceeded. First, however, we would like to answer questions which naturally arise: What are the reasons for this complex organization? What makes control of our body movements complex?


THE RICHNESS OF MOBILITY OF HUMAN MOVEMENT ORGANS

Human movement apparatus, called the skeletal-articular-muscular system, has an unusually rich mobility. The main supporting structure of the body is the trunk with the neck, or, in essence, the vertebral column with its 25 intervertebral links and associated muscular apparatus. It is capable of various, nearly snakelike bends, twists, and winds. The human neck is far less impressive in its flexibility and mobility than are the necks of giraffes, ostriches, or swans, but it is not worse in providing accuracy and stability in shifts and turns of the

-25-

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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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