1st Edition

Bernstein's Construction of Movements
The Original Text and Commentaries

Edited By

Mark L. Latash

ISBN 9780367418922
Published October 30, 2020 by Routledge
378 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Bernstein was one of the great neuroscientists of the twentieth century and highly respected by Western scientists even though most have never read his most important book entitled On the Construction of Movements. Bernstein's Construction of Movements: The Original Text and Commentaries is the first English translation. It supplements the translated text with a series of commentaries by scientists who knew Bernstein personally, as well as leaders in related fields including physics, motor control, and biomechanics.

While written in 1947, Bernstein’s book is anything but obsolete, making this English translation and accompanying commentaries an invaluable text. The translated original text presents in detail Bernstein’s views on the evolutionary history of biological movement and his multi-level hierarchical scheme of the construction of movements in higher animals, including humans. The following commentaries address Bernstein’s personality, the history of the book, and current views on different aspects of neuroscience covered in Bernstein’s text. Ultimately, they present "a book within the book" to showcase how Bernstein’s heritage has developed over the past years.

This classic, available for the first time to an English-speaking audience, will prove beneficial to students, instructors, and experts of neuroscience, physics, neurophysiology, motor control, motor rehabilitation, biomechanics, dynamical systems, and related fields.

Table of Contents

Preface by the Editor/Translator PART ONE: On the Construction of Movements (N. A. Bernstein, translated by M. L. Latash) PART TWO: Commentaries 1. Talis V. L.  2. Mirsky M.  3. Nadin M.  4. Feldman A. G.  5. Levin M. F.  6. Prilutsky B. I., Zatsiorsky V. M.  7. Georgopoulos A.P.  8. Rothwell J.C.  9. Lacquaniti F., Ivanenko Y. I.  10. Profeta V. L. S., Carello C., Turvey M. T.  11. Newell K. M., Liu Y. T.  12. Schöner G.  13. Latash M. L.

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Mark L. Latash was trained in physics of living systems and neurophysiology. He has been working in the fields of motor control and movement disorders, published over 400 papers, six books, and ten edited volumes. He is a recipient of the Bernstein Prize from the International Society of Motor Control.


"We are fortunate to now have a new full translation of Nikolai Bernstein's book On the Construction of Movements (1947). Few if any researchers have had such long-lasting impact as Bernstein on our understanding of motor control in intact and neurologically impaired subjects. Bernstein began his work in Russia early in the last century and his publications extend almost to his death in 1966. His ideas about muscle synergy, hierarchical control and feedback mechanisms in the nervous system have seen a major resurgence in recent years, in spite of the fact that the technologies he used were quite limited in their precision. We now have a crisply written and highly readable translation of this pivotal volume written by a distinguished international leader in human motor control research, who continues current exploration of Bernstein's ideas using new technologies, and relying heavily on modern instrumentation, modern physics and mathematics." —William Zev Rymer, Northwestern University, USA