~ Learning to Move ~

A project for Behavioral Neuroscience by Kristin Mathson, Matthew Olson, Dan Braman, Danny Lawder, and Sarah Tisel

The goal of this page is to explain well functioning movement in humans. While many accounts of movement focus on dysfunction or on physiology, here a variety of perspectives are used to explore typical development and modes of learning in human movement.

As animals, we are animated. Movement is so central to the lives of animals that it is in our name. Both "animal" and "animate," come from the Latin roots "animare," which is to give life to and "anima," which means breath and soul. In a sense, we are our actions.

What determined your handedness?

How did you learn to walk?

Would you like to dance?

Do you think you could coordinate without vision?

How do you learn to play a sport?

All movements, whether intended or not, rely the nervous system. Environmental stimuli trigger a set of chemical impulses that ultimately result in mechanical changes. Therefore, a complete understanding of how we move cannot be reached without an understanding of the nervous system.

Motor activities are primed, and involve retrieving motor memories which means the study of how we move should focus on how we learn to move. The variety of movements humans posses is impressive. Take a moment to reflect on some of the ways people have mastered (or in some cases have not mastered) movement.