Motor coordination

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Gross motor coordination addresses the gross motor skills: walking, running, climbing, jumping, crawling, lifting one's head, sitting up, etc.

Fine motor coordination addresses the fine motor skills, such as the abilities to manipulate small objects using small muscle movements of the fingers, usually in coordination with vision. A notable type of fine coordination is involved in the usage of vocal cords and other organs for producing speech or singing.

Elements of coordination include:

  • Spatial awareness
  • Timing
  • Balance
  • Combining several movements into a sequence (including motion learning, planning and memorizing)

Elements of nervous system involved in motor coordination

Types of coordination

  • Sensory–motor coordination
    • Visual–motor copordination
  • Left–right coordination
  • Flexor-extensor alternation and balance

Sensory–motor coordination

Integration of the sensory perception and motor output occurs in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is linked by many neural pathways with the motor cortex—which sends information to the muscles causing them to move—and the spinocerebellar tract—which provides feedback on the position of the body in space (proprioception). The cerebellum integrates these pathways, using the constant feedback on body position to fine-tune motor movements.

Left–right coordination

The term left–right coordination has two major meanings.

The first one refers to the rhythmic alternating left and right limb movement during, e.g., the locomotion in mammals or swimming of aquatic vertebrates. The basic neuronal circuits that generate this type of coordinated activity is located in the spinal cord. [1]

The second one one refers to various coordinated activities with left and right hands, e.g., in playing the piano, drumming, semaphore flag signalling, etc.

See also


  1. Butt S.J., Lebret J.M., Kiehn O. "Organization of left-right coordination in the mammalian locomotor network", Brain Res. Brain. Res. Rev. 2002 Oct;40(1-3):107-17 PMID 12589910

it:Coordinazione motoria