The starting point to the analyzes presented in this paper is the fact that the primary task for the nervous system – both central and peripheral – of living creatures is the control of movements. The only result of any mental process, the only way to influence the environment, aimed at producing desired results in environment, is the movement. These issues make the subject of the discipline of science termed motor control. In this field, the efficiency of mathematics is highly disputable. On the other hand, the promising tool for knowledge ordering seems to be the systems theory. For its invention Ludwig von Bertalanffy is credited (1968). However, already in late 1940s such an approach has been presented by Nikolai A. Bernstein. His theory is commonly regarded as a cornerstone of modern motor control. Basing on evolutionary and neurophysiological knowledge, he invented a systemic model termed “brain skyscraper”, structural in its essence. It was possible to invent the slightly simplified, parallel model of functional nature, termed “modalities’ ladder”, founding upon information processing. The practical application of the ladder in teaching of motor operations, presented in this paper, is termed “one level higher” principle. An important outcome of the modalities’ ladder is also its specific, function oriented, systemic ordering of motor control terminology.


Sensorimotor Nervous system Neurophysiological Motor control


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