Dear colleagues,

A new well-written book is now available.

Title: Synergy
Author: Mark L. Latash
Publisher: Oxford University Press (
ISBN13: 9780195333169
ISBN10: 0195333160
hardback, 432 pages

Synergy discusses a general problem in biology: the lack of an adequate
language for formulating biologically specific problems. Written for an
inquisitive reader who is not necessarily a professional in the area of
movement studies, Synergy describes the recent progress in the control and
coordination of human movement.

The book begins with a brief history of movement studies and reviews the
current central controversies in the area of control of movements with an
emphasis on the equilibrium-point hypothesis. An operational definition of
synergy is introduced and a method of analysis of synergies is described
based on the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. This method is further used
to characterize synergies in a variety of tasks including such common motor
tasks as standing, pointing, reaching, standing-up, and manipulation of
hand-held objects. Applications of this method to movements by persons with
neurological disorders, persons with atypical development and healthy
elderly persons are illustrated, as well as changes in motor synergies with

Possible neurophysiological mechanisms of synergies are also discussed with
the focus on such conspicuous structures as the spinal cord, the
cerebellum, the basal ganglia, and the cortex of the large hemispheres.

A variety of models are discussed based on different computational and
neurophysiological principles. Possible applications of the introduced
definition of synergies to other areas, such as perception and language,
are discussed.

Mark L. Latash, PhD, is Director of the Motor Control Laboratory at Penn
State University. He served as the Founding Editor of Motor Control
(1996-2007) and as the first President of the International Society of
Motor Control (2001-2005). He published over 240 papers in refereed
journals and several books including Control of Human Movement (1993) and
Neurophysiological Basis of Movement (1996, 2008). Mark Latash is a Fellow
in the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education and a
recipient of the Bernstein Prize (2007).