Human Motor Behavior: An Introduction

By J. A. Scott Kelso | Go to book overview

week's time. As the story goes, Teuber spent many months researching the question--day and night--until he realized that the solution was impossible. There simply was not enough information on how the brain controls movement. He returned, dejected and frustrated, to his mentor, essentially empty-handed for his efforts. Lashley smiled encouragingly and informed him that, just as there was no answer available for such a "simple" motor-control problem, so also was there a lack of knowledge regarding Teuber's problem in perception. There is a message here: We have a long way to go before we can understand even the simplest of motor skills. The following chapters are as much a testimony to this fact as they are a representation of the status of our current thinking.

Postscript. There is a humorous outcome of the Teuber-Lashley dialogue. Throughout the many years that followed this incident, Lashley and Teuber had a secret way of communicating with each other, often in crowded rooms. The sign of recognition from Lashley to Teuber was a "tweak" of the index finger! Teuber was to tell this story many years later to a group of scientists whose main endeavor was to understand the nature of movement control.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Preparation of this chapter and this volume was supported by NSF Grant No. SER 77-02986.


REFERENCES

Adams J. A. A closed-loop theory of motor learning. Journal of Motor Behavior, 1971, 3, 111- 149.

Brooks V. B. Some examples of programmed limb movements. Brain Research, 1974, 71, 299- 308.

Chase R. A. "An information-flow model of the organization of motor activity: Part I, Transduction transmission and central control of sensory information". Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1965, 140, 239-251.

Evarts E. V. "Representation of movements and muscles by pyramidal tract neurons of the precentral motor cortex". In M. D. Yahr & D. P. Purpura (Eds.), Neurophysiological basis of normal and abnormal motor activities. New York: Raven Press, 1967.

Fitts P. M. "Perceptual-motor skill learning". In A. W. Melton (Ed.), Categories of human learning. New York: Academic Press, 1964.

Hull C. L. Principles of Psychology, New York: Appleton, 1943.

Lashley K. S. "The problem of serial order in behavior". In L. A. Jeffries (Ed.), Cerebral mechanisms in behavior. New York: Wiley, 1951.

Mayr O. "The origins of feedback control". Scientific American, 1970, 223, 110-118.

Neisser U. Cognitive psychology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1967.

Schmidt R. A. "The schema as a solution to some persistent problems in motor learning theory". In G. E. Stelmach (Ed.), Motor control: Issues and trends, New York: Academic Press, 1976.

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