Action, Mind, and Brain
An engaging and accessible introduction to the psychology and neuroscience of physical action.
This engaging and accessible book offers the first introductory text on the psychology and neuroscience of physical action. Written by a leading researcher in the field, it covers the interplay of action, mind, and brain, showing that many core concepts in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and technology grew out of questions about the control of everyday physical actions. It explains action not as a “one-way street from stimuli to response” but as a continual action-perception cycle. The informal writing style invites students to think through the evidence step by step, helping them develop general thinking stills as well as learn specific facts. Special emphasis is placed on the role of underrepresented groups.
The book discusses the intellectual background of the field, from Plato to Kant, Dewey, and others; applications and methods; and the physical substrates of action—bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and nerves. It considers the control of actions in space; learning, and the roles of nature and nurture; feedback; feedforward, or anticipated feedback; and degrees of freedom—the multiple ways of getting things done and three methods or narrowing the alternatives. The book is generously illustrated, including many images of thinkers who contributed to the field.