Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2018-06-30

Formation of the sensorimotor operation pattern from a system-theoretical perspective

Katowice School of Economics, 3 Harcerzy Września St., 40-065 Katowice, Poland
sensorimotor nervous system neurophysiological motor control


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.


Download data is not yet available.


  1. Wohl, Słowo a ruch, Z zagadnień teorii motoryczności ludzkiej (Word and movement: The selected issues of theory of human motoricity) (1965) Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego, Warsaw, Poland.
  2. J.W. Kalat, Biological psychology, (2007) Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
  3. A. Sokal, J. Bricmont, Fashionable nonsense: Postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science, (1998) Picador, New York, USA.
  4. B. Leftow, B. Davies, Aquinas: Summa Theologiae, Questions on God, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  5. B. Russell, A critical exposition of the philosophy of Leibninz, With an appendix of leading passages, (2008) Cosimo Inc, New York, USA.
  6. Stewart, J. Cohen, Figments of reality. The evolution of curious mind, (1999) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  7. Białynicki-Birula, I. Białynicka-Birula, Modeling reality, how computers mirror life, (2004) Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, USA.
  8. J. Cohen, I.N. Stewart, The collapse of chaos. Discovering simplicity in a complex world, (2000) Penguin Press Science, London.
  9. R.A. Schmidt, Motor control and learning, A behavioral emphasis, (2nd Ed) (1988) Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc, Champaign, IL.
  10. W. Petryński, Motor control in humans, A system-theoretical approach, (2016a) Nova Science Publishers Inc, Hauppauge, NY, USA.
  11. C.S. Peirce, Collected papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, (1958) Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.
  12. J.P. Desclés, Abduction and non-observability, (2000) (In:) E. Agazzi, M. Pauri (Eds.), The reality of the unobservable: Observability and their impact on the issue of scientific realism, 87-112, Kluver Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.
  13. J.M. Morawski, Gospodarka ruchowymi zasobami ciała człowieka w perspektywie systemowej (Human body motion resource management in system perspective), Antropomotoryka, 50 (2010b) 15-25.
  14. M. Nadin, The civilization of illiteracy, (1997) Dresden University Press, Dresden, Germany.
  15. R. Penrose, The large, the small, and human mind, (1997) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
  16. L. von Bertalanffy, General systems theory: Foundations, development, applications, (1968) George Braziller, New York, NY.
  17. J.M. Morawski, Bezpieczeństwo a ekonomia w lotnictwie, U źródeł kontrowersji (Safety and economics in aviation. The origins of controversy), (1986) 14-28, Prace Instytutu Lotnictwa, Warsaw, Poland.
  18. J.M. Morawski, Człowiek i technologia. Sekrety wzajemnych uwarunkowań (Human and technology. The secrets of mutual relations), (2005) Pultusk Academy of Humanities, Pułtusk Poland.
  19. N.A. Bernstein, O postroyenii dvizheniy (On the construction of movements), (1947) Medgiz, Moscow, in Russia.
  20. J. Hughlings Jackson, The Croonian lectures on evolution and dissolution of the nervous system, Delivered at the Royal College of Physicians, March, The British Medical Journal, (1884) 591-593, 660-663, 703-707.
  21. N.A. Bernstein, Fiziologiya dwizheniy i aktivnost’ (Physiology of movements and activity), (1990) Nauka, Moscow, Russia.
  22. N.A. Bernstein, O lovkosti i yeyo razvitii (On dexterity and its development), (1991) Fizkultura i sport, Moscow, Russia.
  23. N.A. Bernstein, (On dexterity and its development, 1996) (In:) M.L. Latash, M.T. Turvey (Eds.), Dexterity and its development, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.
  24. V.S. Gurfinkel, P.J. Cordo, The scientific legacy of Nikolai Bernstein, (1998) (In:) M.L. Latash (Ed.), Progress in motor control, volume one. Bernstein’s traditions in movement studies, 1-19, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  25. P.D. MacLean, Brain evolution relating to family, play, and the separation call, Archives of General Psychiatry, 42 (1985) 405-417.
  26. P.D. MacLean, The triune brain in evolution: Role in paleocerebral functions, (1990) Plenum Press, New York, NY.
  27. A. Clark, (1989) Microcognition: philosophy, cognitive science and parallel distributed processing, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  28. J. Piaget, B. Inhelder, The psychology of the child, (2000) Basic Books, New York, NY.
  29. W. Petryński, Consciousness from the evolutionary and systemic perspective, (2016b) (In:) L. Alvarado (Ed.) Consciousness. Social perspectives, psychological approaches and current research, 11-48, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, NY.
  30. M.L. Latash, M.F. Levin, J.P. Scholz, G. Schöner, Motor control theories and their applications, Medicina, 46 (2010) 382-392.
  31. R.A. Schmidt, C.A. Wrisberg, Motor learning and performance. A situation-based learning approach, (2008) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  32. Carpenter W.B. (1852). On the influence of suggestion in modifying and directing muscular movement, independently of volition. London: Royal Institution of Great Britain, Weekly Evening Meeting, Friday, March, 12, p. 147-153.
  33. Czabański, Optymalizacja uczenia się i nauczania czynności sportowych (Optimization of learning and teaching of sport performances), (1986) Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego, Wrocław, Poland.
  34. R.M. Nideffer, The athletes’ guide to mental training, (1985) Human Kinetic Publishers, Champaign, IL.
  35. G. Rizzolatti, L. Fogassi, V. Gallese, Neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the understanding and imitation of action, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2 (2001) 661- 670.
  36. G. Rizzolatti, L. Craighero, The mirror-neuron system, Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27(2004) 169-192.
  37. R.A. Schmidt, T.D. Lee, Motor control and learning, A behavioral emphasis, (5th Ed) (2011) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  38. R.A. Schmidt, C.A. Wrisberg, Motor learning and performance, (3rd Ed) (2004) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  39. W. Jakóbczyk, Zawsze byłem sobą (I was always myself), Cars. Magazyn o samochodach, 8 (2011) 28-31.
  40. G. Wulf, Attention and motor skill learning, (2007) Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
  41. Tolstoy L.N. Anna Karenina. Translated by Constance Garnett.; retrieved 06.06.2018.
  42. A. Petersen, The philosophy of Niels Bohr, Bulletin of the Atomic Scienists, 19 (1963) 8- 14.
  43. L.S. Vygotsky, Thought and language, (1986) The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

How to Cite

Petryński, W. (2018). Formation of the sensorimotor operation pattern from a system-theoretical perspective. International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports, 7(2), 30-42.