Physics of Biological Action and Perception

Physics of Biological Action and Perception

1st Edition - August 24, 2019

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  • Author: Mark Latash
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128192856
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128192849

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Physics of Biological Action and Perception helps researchers interested in exploring biological motor control from a physics or alternative viewpoint perspective. The book introduces the idea of parametric control as a distinguishing feature of living systems. Sections cover how the CNS creates stable percepts based on fuzzy and continuously changing signals from numerous receptors and the variable processes related to ongoing actions. The author also develops the idea of control with referent coordinates to stability of salient variables in fields typically united under the label of "cognition." Examples of this include communication (how the gist of a message is preserved despite variability of phrases), thought processes (how one can solve a mental problem via different logical routes), and playing chess (how one selects an optimal move given a position on the board). The book is written for researchers, instructors, clinicians and other professionals in all the fields related to biological movement and perception.

Key Features

  • Presents a unifying theory of motor control based on physics
  • Encompasses action, perception and cognition
  • Discusses referent coordinates, kinesthetic perception and stability of actions
  • Identifies the importance of the CNS over computational brain function


Researchers, instructors, clinicians and other professionals in all the fields related to biological movement and perception

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction
    2. Definition of Living System
    3. Redundancy and Abundance
    4. Stability in Abundant Systems
    5. Control with Referent Coordinates
    6. Kinesthetic Perception
    7. Stability of Gist
    8. Problems and Conjectures

Product details

  • No. of pages: 242
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2019
  • Published: August 24, 2019
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128192856
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128192849

About the Author

Mark Latash

Mark Latash is a Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Motor Control Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University. He received equivalents of B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Physics of Living Systems from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and a Ph.D. in Physiology from Rush University in Chicago. His research interests are focused on the control and coordination of human voluntary movements, movement disorders in neurological disorders, and effects of rehabilitation. He is the author of “Control of Human Movement” (1993) “The Neurophysiological Basis of Movement” (1998, 2008), “Synergy” (2008), and “Fundamentals of Motor Control” (2012). In addition, he edited eight books and published about 350 papers in refereed journals. Mark Latash served as the Founding Editor of the journal “Motor Control” (1996-2007) and as President of the International Society of Motor Control (2001-2005). He has served as Director of the annual Motor Control Summer School series since 2004. He is a recipient of the Bernstein Prize in motor control.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA

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