The Method

The Method

Section 1: Basic Reflex Action, Conditional Learning & Dynamic Movement

«Overview of Reflex Contributions   /   Section 2»

The first section, entitled Basic Reflex Action, Conditional Learning & Dynamic Movement, starts by revealing the cellular dynamics of the simple reflex action through the work of Sir Charles Sherrington between 1893 and 1906.  Sherrington's work continues to be sited today to help explain what makes a reflex work. Ivan Pavlov, during this same general timeframe, still focusing on simple reflex action, demonstrated how reflexes can come under conditional control – one of the simplest forms of learning. After Sherrington and Pavlov first revealed this information, many scientists attempted to use this knowledge to explain all activity. Early on many thought this could work. Unfortunately, while it could explain simple reactive action in the body (sensory input » neural processing » motor response), it could not to explain active exploration and dynamic interaction in the world.

In the 1920s, Nikolai Bernstein was among the first to explain how these more complex movements work in the body. While these complex movements involve a far more complex process than that explained by Sherrington and Pavlov, they are still reflexive in nature. Bernstein’s work helped to reveal that motor control is dynamically reflexive, meaning each complex movement is ever-changing based on the body’s amazing ability to work with combinations of incoming input to continually achieve an ever-changing outcome. While there remain far more expansive explanations about basic reflex and movement dynamics, we hope this information will be enough for you to understand the simple action to dynamic movement function that reflexes play.

Below are more in depth summaries of the contributions made by: