chapter  10
The control of routine action: Modelling normal and impaired functioning
ByRichard P. Cooper
Pages 17

Behavioural routines, from brushing one’s teeth to travelling to work, pervade our daily lives. Such routines comprise well-practised, perhaps even stereotyped, sequences of actions that may be analysed at a number of levels. Consider the routine task of brushing one’s teeth. At a gross level, this involves a series of identifiable steps: get brush, apply paste, brush, rinse mouth, rinse brush, put brush down, and dry mouth. Each step, however, may be analysed separately. Applying paste, for example, involves picking up the tube of paste, opening it, applying some paste to the brush head, closing the paste tube, and putting the tube down. Even apparently simple acts, such as picking up the brush, can be decomposed into combinations and sequences of reaching, grasping, retracting, etc.