Motor Control in Humans: A System-Theoretical Approach


Wacław Petryński, PhD
Katowice School of Economics, Assistant Professor, Dean of Extramural Tourism Faculty in Bielsko-Biała, Poland

Series: Neuroscience Research Progress
BISAC: SCI089000

Through time, an organism gains the ability to actively control purpose and then transform it into inventiveness. With this transformation, the psyche is born. It is practically incomprehensible to direct experimental research and mathematical description. Hence, to transform rough knowledge into highly processed science, it seems reasonable to follow in the footsteps of evolution and to apply the systemic way of description of biological phenomena and processes. One might deduce that evolution has already made all the essential errors, so this path of scientific thinking is relatively free from “intellectual mines.”

The only observable manifestation of any psychical activity of the human mind is movement, which is the subject of interest of the scientific discipline termed “motor control.” So, without psychology, motor control is mindless; yet, without motor control, psychology is also blind. Nevertheless, it seems that motor control may make a “window,” enabling a view—with intellectual and not experimental methodology—into the human mind.

Even the physical part of reality is too complex to be described in full. To understand this intricate idea somehow, it is necessary to create the simplified representations of reality, or “theories.” As a result, science is not able to determine how reality is; it may only produce more or less useful descriptions of reality. This book makes an attempt at the creation of such a system-theoretical description of issues concerning the motor behavior of living beings, including humans. It suggests the very nature of essential processes underlying this essential biological process. (Imprint: Nova Biomedical)



Table of Contents



About the Author


Chapter 1. Systems Thinking as a Method of Knowledge Ordering in Motor Control

Chapter 2. Structural Basis of Human Thinking: Bernstein’s Brain Skyscraper

Chapter 3. Functional Basis of Human Thinking: The Modalities’ Ladder

Chapter 4. Motor Operation Pattern: The Information Processing Chain

Chapter 5. Movements’ Management Matrix

Chapter 6. Motor Skills Learning: Down and Up the Modalities’ Ladder

Chapter 7. Motor Operation Control in Humans

Chapter 8. Motor Control and Learning: The Intellectual “Final Common Path”

Chapter 9. Motor Control – Past, Present and Future

Appendix A

Appendix B




“The book covers many aspects of science including philosophy, psychology, and physiology with the focus on the neural control of human movements. I believe that students who enter the field of movement studies will appreciate the breadth of the topics covered in the book and, in particular, the pages dedicated to history of science. More advanced researchers will probably be more interested in unexpected links among ideas from different areas and piercing one-liners that are hard to forget. To me, this book is also a brilliant example of the fact that thinking in science can be very productive even with minimal empirical support, much more valuable than tons of data collected without thinking.” – <strong>Mark Latash, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA</strong>

“Wac³aw Petryñski’s book is an important historical/philosophical/psychological treatment of the field of motor control and learning. It pulls together a diverse literature via a systems approach, and connects many heretofore areas that previously existed in their own vacuums. It is not an easy read, but a necessary one for the student of motor control who wishes to gain a larger conceptual understanding of the field.” – <strong>Timothy Lee, Professor Emeritus, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada</strong>

“The body movement is considered in the context of factors appearing in the course of the evolution of species, beginning with factors of somatic nature (rooted in neurophysiology) and finishing with those of mental provenance, concurrent with the growth of individual awareness. Petryñski’s point of departure is Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bernstein’s five-level structure of the motor control, as expressed in the latter’s concept of the kinematic degrees of freedom. It is upon this concept that Petryñski builds his idea of ‘systemic ordering,’ for the purpose of which he adopts the scale of the movement as the central framework of reference.” – <strong>Prof. Dr. Eng. Janusz M. Morawski, honorary member of the Polish Society of Biomechanics</strong>

Additional Information

Audience: 1. Motor control specialists.
2. Kinesiologists.
3. Psychologists.
4. Sport scientists.
5. Physiotherapists.
6. Science philosophers.
7. Sport and recreational coaches and instructors.
However, recently I was invited by professional vocalists and singing teachers to make a lecture about motor control. They maintained that this knowledge is useful for them.

Additional information