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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Erik H. Van Iterson, PhD, MS, MBio (University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology)
Description: This book effectively explains and demonstrates with examples how the nervous system, muscle, and surrounding environment integrate with one another to affect human movement. It sequentially introduces and builds upon the areas of neuroscience, physiology, and physics to help readers better understand these relationships and their pertinence in understanding how human movement works. The previous edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: This is designed to provide a scientifically based foundation for understanding the interrelationship between the human nervous system and its control over muscle actions to exert forces on the surrounding environment to generate human movement. The book is organized in a well thought out sequential manner, meeting the objectives.
Audience: The audience includes students who are interested in understanding how neuroscience integrates with human movement. Although not an introductory book, it does a good job of covering basic principles and building upon that information in each of the three sections. The author is considered an expert in the field.
Features: Part I introduces the physical laws of motion and mechanics; part II discusses concepts of neurophysiology and the workings of the nervous system and muscles; and part III concludes with motor system responses to interventions and the associated acute or chronic adaptations that might occur as a result. Each section covers a significant amount of information without going into unnecessary detail. The sections cover only the area of that field related to human movement, such as describing motion and movement forces as they relate to human movement in part I. In explaining each topic, the author provides appropriate and descriptive illustrations that are well thought out and helpful in understanding more visually related concepts such as the free-body diagram.
Assessment: This book is more than sufficient as both a review of the basics of the topics and as an update of progress in the field. It will be useful for students who are interested in building a strong understanding of neuroscience, biomechanics, and exercise physiology. The book does a great job of focusing on the subject while filtering out unnecessary information. This fourth edition contains more current scientific research. This is a valuable update in this field, based upon the author's continuing efforts to keep the science behind the discipline current.