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Matter of MindA Neurologist's View of Brain-Behavior Relationships$
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Kenneth M. Heilman

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195144901

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195144901.001.0001

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Cognitive-Motor Skills

Cognitive-Motor Skills

Matter of Mind

Kenneth M. Heilman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the brain mechanisms that underlie cognitive motor skills. Topics covered include movement memories or representations, praxis and handedness, and mechanical knowledge. To perform skilled acts (praxis), people need movement programs and mechanical knowledge. Movement, or praxis, programs are the instructions given to the nerves that control the limbs. These programs instruct the muscles about what joint or joints to move, in which direction, at what time, with what speed, and with how much force. Studies of patients with hemispheric injuries provide evidence for left hemisphere praxis dominance in right-handed people and right hemisphere praxis dominance in left-handed people. Studies also demonstrate that mechanical knowledge is stored independently of other forms of knowledge, such as movement programs and language.

Keywords:   movement memories, praxis, handedness, mechanical knowledge, motor skills, skilled acts, apraxia

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