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George E. Carvell, PhD, PT   University of Pittsburgh
 
NERVOUS SYSTEM ORGANIZATION : BERNSTEIN’S CIRCULAR SERVO MODEL
 While many scientists theorized that motor control involved a serial processing that involved sequential processing, others have suggested that there may be a more distributed processing where the burden of control rests with a number of structures at more than one level within the nervous system.
 “The process of practice towards the achievement of new motor habits essentially consists in the gradual success of a search for optimal motor solutions to the appropriate problems. Because of this, practice, when properly undertaken, does not consist in repeating the means of solution  of a motor problem time after time, but  in the process of solving  this problem again and again by techniques which we changed and perfected from repetition to repetition …. ’practice is a particular type of repetition without repetition.’ ” (p. 134)
N. Bernstein, The Coordination and Regulation of Movements. NY: Pergamon Press, 1967
Motor
(muscles)
1
Sensor
(receptors)
3
Iw
Working organ,
Instrument,
Object
Comparing
System
Commanding
System
2
Reciphering,
Recording
5
4
Regulator
6
Sw
Control
w
Corrections
Brain
‘error’
Energy
N. Bernstein’s Circular Self-regulating System
N. Bernstein was a Russian Scientist who studied the details of complex movements
It was Bernstein who first addressed the ‘degree of freedom’ problem. How can the nervous system control so many possible joint motions and muscles in complex actions? He suggested that the brain solves this problem by controlling functional groups of muscles termed synergies.
after fig. 31 p. 130