FROM COMPONENT ANALYSIS TO MOTOR PROGRAMS
Editor's Remarks (Chapters 6 and 7)
Thus far, we have dealt primarily with the control and learning of quite slow, discrete movements. In the next set of chapters by Steven Keele and Richard Schmidt, the emphasis is shifted to highly practiced skills that often involve very rapid action. For reasons that are probably already obvious, a closed-loop account of such actions seems inadequate; instead, the idea is that a whole pattern can be generated without any requirement that peripheral information be constantly used to update and adjust the movement. Centrally generated movement patterns or motor programs are thought to be represented in certain, as yet unclear, neural structures. Chapter 7 by Steven Keele (who had much to do with the development of the idea in motor- behavior circles) and Chapters 8 and 9 by Richard Schmidt (who has worked a great deal on clarifying the notion) address numerous issues regarding motor programs: how programs are learned, their relationship to feedback, the hierarchical nature of motor programs, what parameters are contained in the motor programs, how programs may be translated into muscle action, and so on.
Before elaborating on the program concept, however, Keele (Chapter 6) presents a more traditional approach to