The Past and Future of Motor Learning and Control: What Is the Proper Level of Description and Analysis?

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Howard N. Zelaznik
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Over the past 40 years the research area of motor learning and control has developed into a field closely aligned with information processing in neuroscience. The basic, implicit assumption is that motor learning and control is the domain of the brain. Several crucial studies and developments from the past and the present are presented and discussed that highlight this position. The future of following that current path is discussed. Then, the case is made that the control of movement is not just a brain process, and thus scientists in kinesiology need to study movement behavior at a coarser level of analysis. Motor control in kinesiology should use the Newell framework and thus should examine the nature of individual attributes, environmental information, and task constraints on learning and performance of motor skills.

Zelaznik (NAK Fellow #337) is a professor in the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

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