Author(s): Newell KM, Vaillancourt DE
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Abstract Bernstein (The Co-ordination and Regulation of Movements, Pergamon, London, 1967) outlined a theoretical framework for the degrees of freedom problem in motor control that included a 3-stage approach to the reorganization of the peripheral biomechanical degrees of freedom in motor learning and development. We propose that Bernstein's conception of change through the stages of learning is too narrow in its consideration of the degrees of freedom problem and the actual pathways of change evident in motor learning. It is shown that change in both the organization of the mechanical degrees of freedom and the dimension of the attractor dynamic organizing motor output can either increase or decrease, according to the confluence of constraints imposed on action. The central issue determining directional change in dimension is whether the dimensionality of the task relevant intrinsic dynamic needs to be increased or decreased to realize new task demands.
This article was published in Hum Mov Sci
and referenced in Journal of Novel Physiotherapies