chapter  4
32 Pages

Behavioral Theories of Motor Control

ByCheryl A. Coker

In this chapter, the authors examine theories of the organization and execution of skilled movements. Understanding theory is important for practitioners, as it is the foundation on which all instructional decisions should be made. After all, how can the authors design and implement effective instruction—whether in classrooms, gymnasiums, coaching, or clinical settings—if the authors don't understand how people learn? The authors explore the theoretical constructs underlying the coordination and control of human movement from a behavioral perspective. A motor program is an abstract representation of a movement plan, stored in memory that contains all motor commands required to carry out the intended action. The process of organizing a system's available degrees of freedom into an efficient movement pattern to achieve a specific goal effectively is known as coordination. Dynamic interaction theories contend that a plan created by a command center could not possibly account for all variations and adjustments in skilled movement.