Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The name defines the thing

So, astute readers may notice a name change here - I've decided to go back to my old WordPress blog title (which never had more than five posts over its year-long lifespan, a perfect example of my habit of enthusiastically starting projects and never following through). I used to own the domain but no longer. Oh well. Blogger will do for the moment.

Why motor chauvinism? I'd like to disassociate myself from the idea that I am in any way interested a) in cars and b) in denigrating women! I first came across the term in a paper written in 2001:
"From the motor chauvinist's point of view the entire purpose of the human brain is to produce movement." -- Wolpert, Ghahramani & Flanagan (2001)
The authors go on to explain how movement underlies everything we do, our every interaction with the world, all communication (speech, sign language, gestures and writing), and so on and so forth. While I rather like the idea I want to make clear that this blog isn't going to specifically advocate for the notion. Rather, I just thought that since it's pretty specifically about movement neuroscience and not just about reading random papers it might be fun to redefine it a little more sharply.

I hope to have some guest posters who will be able to talk more about things that I don't know much about, but that's a plan for later. Right now, welcome again to my blog, which will be doing the same kinds of things it has been doing for a couple of months, just under a different name.

Oh - I apologise for those who have linked to the blog under the previous name, as those links are now unlikely to work. That's why I've changed the name now rather than after a couple more months. Assuming, as I note above, that I stick with it...

The paper that the quote is from is very good, by the way, and you should definitely read it if you can. It also contains Calvin & Hobbes cartoons. What's not to like?


Wolpert DM, Ghahramani Z, & Flanagan JR (2001). Perspectives and problems in motor learning. Trends in cognitive sciences, 5 (11), 487-494 PMID: 11684481

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