balance

balance

Postby fol » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:37 am

This is interesting--fol

"Whenever we stand up and arrange our calves, thighs, torso and head into a stable, vertical configuration, Dr. Merfeld said, we are unconsciously juggling six inverted pendulums ["bows"?], six mechanically independent units with masses above the pivot point — a feat that amounts to balancing six pencils on your palm simultaneously. Bipedalism is largely a top-down operation overseen by the vestibular system, which gauges the head position relative to the floor and signals the brain to adjust the downstream pivot points accordingly."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/28/science/28angi.html
fol
 
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Postby Louis Swaim » Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:12 pm

Greetings fol,

I love Tuesdays at the New York Times! The vestibular system is closely related to proprioception, which I've posted about in this forum more than once. It's exciting to see ongoing research into equilibrioception in the scientific community. Meanwhile the research continues here in the taijiquan community, just as it has for a long time.

My favorite line in the article about the vestibular system: “It’s almost the absence of something rather than the presence.” Another line that curiously accords with taiji thinking is the assertion that the vestibular system is "Essential to a fully embodied sense of self. . ."

By the way, I just have to say -- natural selection rocks!

Take care,
Louis
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