View Full Version : Posture/Locomotion: PSYC Call for Book Reviewers

Stevan Harnad
03-02-1996, 10:24 PM

Below is the Abstract of the Precis of UNDERSTANDING BALANCE by T.D.M.
Roberts. This book has been selected for multiple review in PSYCOLOQUY.
If you wish to submit a formal book review please write to
psyc@pucc.princeton.edu for Instructions, indicating what expertise you
would bring to bear on reviewing the book if you were selected to
review it. (If you have never reviewed for PSYCOLOQUY or Behavioral &
Brain Sciences before, it would be helpful if you could also append a
copy of your CV to your message.) If you are selected as one of the
reviewers and do not have a copy of the book, you will be sent a copy
of the book directly by the publisher (please let us know if you have a
copy already). Reviews may also be submitted without invitation, but
all reviews will be refereed. The author will reply to all accepted


The role of gestalt recognition indicates that the study of balance
provides an entry into the hitherto inaccessible territory lying
between detailed neuroanatomy and the behaviour of individual neurons
on the one hand and the psychology of sensory perception on the other.
It reveals a range of voluntary activities that do not penetrate to
conscious experience. Many relevant ideas hitherto taken for granted
are shown to be defective. A new formulation of a plausible scheme of
central nervous organisation is outlined for peer scrutiny and comment.
It will be interesting to hear also what justifications can be offered
for the establishment's persistence in continuing to propagate the
various misapprehensions highlighted in the book.

psycoloquy.96.7.02.posture-locomotion.1.roberts Sunday 3 Mar 1996
ISSN 1055-0143 (38 paragraphs, 18 references, 577 lines)
PSYCOLOQUY is sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA)
Copyright 1996 Tristan Roberts

Precis of:
The Mechanics of Posture and Locomotion
Chapman & Hall 1995, xi+348 pp.
ISBN 0 412 60160 5 1 56593 416 4 (USA)

Tristan D. M. Roberts
(Formerly Reader in Physiology,
University of Glasgow, Scotland)
11 Menzies Drive, Fintry
Glasgow G63 OYG

ABSTRACT: Balancing the body's loosely-jointed assemblage of heavy
segments on one another during standing and locomotion calls for
separate and continuous regulation of each of a very large number
of independent motor units. Success depends on triggering
appropriate anticipatory pre-emptive actions by gestalt recognition
of specific developing trends in proprioceptive, and other, neural
signals. This book discusses what forces are actually required and
the nature of the signals available for guidance, concluding with a
realistic scheme of operation for the intricately interconnected
neurons in the brain, with implications for explaining the basis of
gestalt recognition in other types of sensory perception also.

KEYWORDS: Balance, connectionism, gestalt, learning, locomotion,
motor control, proprioception, recognition.

URLs at which the article is retrievable:


Filename: psyc.96.7.02.posture-locomotion.1.roberts