The Motor System
Mind at a Time, by Mel
Levine (2002), page 175
In his book Dr. Levine outlines five forms of motor function
dominate work and play and comprise the major components of the motor
- Gross Motor - functions involves the activity of large muscles,
making possible all the action needed to serve a tennis ball, engage in
a strenuous workout, pedal a bicycle, or toss a ball.
- Fine Motor - Small muscles, principally those in our hands and
fingers, manual dexterity. The nearly synonymous term "eye hand
coordination" the purposeful movement of our fingers need visual
supervision (using our eyes and hand). Examples of fine motor
activites: connecting dots puzzles, buttoning buttons, cooking,
buiding with blocks, using siccors, etc.
- Graphomotor (writing) - function is highly specialized motor
output used in writing. Letter formation requires rapid
assignment and activation of finger muscles and complicated sequential
flow that drives written output.
- Oromotor (speaking) - function used muscular activity to generate
- Musical Motor - output is one of the more obscure brain
operations. A wide range of muscular responses and sensory inputs.
He gives examples of students who have
superb fine motor abilities (i.e. they can draw beautifully, build
things, etc.) and have unacceptable (writing) graphmotor
functions. He points out that students with (speech) oromotor
function can experience diffcults with (writing) graphomotor functions.
Here is a diagram from his book showing the five systems:
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