TOM EASTON: THEORETICAL BIOLOGIST
In 1966, I was admitted to the Committee on Mathematical Biology at the University of Chicago. While I was there, the Committee became the Department of Theoretical Biology, and a few years after I left, it was merged into the Department of Biophysics.
The University gave me my doctorate in Theoretical Biology in 1971. My research on the role of reflexes in locomotor coordination culminated in a paper ("On the Normal Use of Reflexes," American Scientist, September 1972) that is still being cited more than thirty years later, with a concept I introduced ("coordinative structures") finding use in several fields.
Out of curiosity, I recently searched the Internet to see if any papers citing that paper and using that term have been posted. Here's what I found:
1989: SRB Editorial, "From Thought to Speech"
... He then adopts the Coordinative Structures model (Easton, 1972), which is based on the observation that a given set of muscles can be organized into different systems according to its current task ...
1993: "Why Robots Fall Down,"
Lawrence Wm. Goldfarb, keynote address to Cybernetics in the Art of Learning, the 1993 American Society for Cybernetics annual conference.
"The following talk was ... body segments in what are called coordinative structures or muscle synergies. A muscle synergy ..." [does not cite Easton, but does cite those who do]
1994: "A Neural Network Model of Speech Acquisition and Motor Equivalent Speech Production,"
F. H. Guenther, Biological Cybernetics
"... and coordinative structures (e.g., Easton , 1972; Fowler, 1980; Kelso et al., 1984; Saltzman & Kelso, ..."
1997: "The Bilateral Reach-to-Grasp Movement of Parkinson's Disease, ..."
U. Castiello, K. Bennett, Brain
"... coordinative whether or not Parkinson's disease subjects show dysfunction with 'local' independent coding of each limb structure (Easton, 1972 ..."
1999: "Segmentation of Endpoint Trajectories Does Not Imply Segmented ...,"
D. Sternad, S. Schaal, Experimental Brain Research.
"... the nesting of reflexes into a functional hierarchy or heterarchy has subsequently
been suggested as a more adaptive extension (eg, Easton, 1972). ..."
1999: "Changes of Visual Localization Induced by Eye and Neck Muscle Vibration in Normal and Strabismic Subjects,"
Y. Han, Gunnar Lennerstrand, Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.
2000: "Understanding the Nature of Apraxia of Speech: Theory, Analysis, and Treatment,"
Kirrie J. Ballard, Jay P. Granier, and Donald A. Robin, Aphasiology.,
2001: "Perception and Action,"
B. Hommel, International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
"Even though reflexes themselves represent a relatively inflexible way to coordinate perception and action, some researchers have suspected them to provide the basis for voluntary action (Easton 1972)."
2002: "The Neuronal Basis of Bimanual Coordination...,"
Simone Cardoso de Oliveira, Acta Psychologica.
"... coordinative structures are collectives (synergies) of muscles that can be
controlled jointly as a single functional unit (Easton, 1972; Turvey, 1977). ..."
2002: "Timing of Bimanual Movements...,"
A. Gribova, et al., Experimental Brain Research.
"... jointly as a single functional unit (Kelso et al. 1979; Easton 1972;
Turvey 1977). It has been argued that a single plan enhances ..."
2003: Neurophysiology (course outline),
Jae Kun Shim
"... Pavlov. Hull. Fentress. Easton . Reflexes are basic units of voluntary movements. Reflexes are synergies or coordinative structures . There ..."
2004: NDTA - Education (web site)
"... Reflexes, according to Easton, are basic "coordinative structures" that are hard-wired in the nervous system. Thus they are capable ..."
2006: "The Motor Theory of Speech Perception Reviewed,"
Bruno Galantucci, Carol A. Fowler, and M. T. Turvey, Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
2006, 13 (3), 361-377
"Turvey (1977) developed a theory of action in which the motor system was to be understood in terms of functional units called coordinative structures (cf. Easton, 1972) rather than anatomical structures..."
A related paper ["Coordinative Structures--The Basis for a Motor Program," in D. M. Landers and R. W. Christina (eds.), Psychology of Motor Behavior and Sport 1977, pp. 63-81 (Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1978)] was cited in:
Jeff Pressing, "Improvisation: Methods and Models," in Generative Processes in Music, J. Sloboda ed., (Oxford University Press, 1987).
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Page last modified December 2, 2006.