• Explaining the Alexander Technique to clinicians and scientists: Psycho-physical re-education - an introduction to cognitive-motor system-level causes of performance-related problems.

    Alison Loram (see profile) , Ian Loram
    Performing arts, Medicine, Music--Performance, Human mechanics, Human body
    Item Type:
    Meeting Title:
    Sensorimotor control re Alexander Technique with Professor Loram
    Meeting Org.:
    HITE (Healthcare Integrated Training and Education) at Harley Street
    Meeting Loc.:
    UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, United Kingdom
    Meeting Date:
    14th Oct 2017
    Music performance, Movement
    Permanent URL:
    This presentation considers the scientific basis of the Alexander Technique, and presents results of experimental research into Alexander teaching methodology. The Alexander Technique, is an educational process with a scientific basis. The efficacy of the Technique is explained by a general mechanism which underlies many problems. Injury and dysfunction, with specific musculoskeletal and cognitive symptoms, can arise from misconception, the rules of neuromuscular function, lack of awareness and reinforcement (wind-up) of symptoms. Within a perception-selection-action feedback loop, misconception and lack of awareness of the consequences of maladaptive selection, ensures that these consequences are subject to destructive (positive) feedback, until the system “breaks” at the individual’s weakest point (http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6CN7R). This presentation provides system-level process diagrams to define the concepts of “use” and “misuse” in terms of a perception-selection-action feedback loop. “Use” is the concurrent processes of sensory analysis, response selection, motor generation and movement biomechanics acting simultaneously, and adapting through time according to their input. “Misuse” is the suboptimal processes of sensory analysis, response selection, motor generation and movement biomechanics amplified by misconception of the resulting feedback. The Alexander Technique brings about change by external, educational input into perception, and inhibition of automated responses. Practice is based on understanding the importance of the neck in regulating sensory-motor control. Problems within the domain of the Technique are associated with a pattern of movement and muscle tension that can be observed. Students are taught to observe that pattern and to use their observations as a training signal to regulate their thought and activity, and to prevent problems from occurring.
    This presentation, was given at a workshop, ‘Mechanisms of sensorimotor control relevant to the Alexander Technique', to consider recent evidence which contributes a scientific basis to understanding how the Alexander Technique works. This talk followed presentation at the workshop of the recent publication “Proactive selective inhibition targeted at the neck muscles: this proximal constraint facilitates learning and regulates global control” (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7792725/).
    Last Updated:
    6 years ago
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