Here is an interesting article on what neuroscience is learning about the relationship between rhythm and movement: A Different Drummer: Engineers Discover Neural Rhythms Drive Physical Movement
ScienceDaily (June 3, 2012) — A new finding that motor cortex is a dynamic pattern generator upends existing theory with broad implications for neuroscience.
Some of their findings I find interesting: "the brain activity controlling arm movement does not encode external spatial information -- such as direction, distance and speed -- but is instead rhythmic in nature."
"'Our main finding is that the motor cortex is a flexible pattern generator, and sends rhythmic signals down the spinal cord,' said Churchland."
"In monitoring electrical brain activity of motor-cortex neurons, researchers found that they typically exhibit a brief oscillatory response. These responses are not independent from neuron to neuron. Instead, the entire neural population oscillates as one in a beautiful and lawfully coordinated way.
The electrical signal that drives a given movement is therefore an amalgam -- a summation -- of the rhythms of all the motor neurons firing at a given moment.
'Under this new way of looking at things, the inscrutable becomes predictable,' said Churchland. 'Each neuron behaves like a player in a band. When the rhythms of all the players are summed over the whole band, a cascade of fluid and accurate motion results.'"
I'm finding implications for myself relative to my studies in LMA, for example in:
"'Say you're throwing a ball. Beneath it all is a pattern. Maybe your shoulder muscle contracts, relaxes slightly, contracts again, and then relaxes completely, all in short order,' explained Churchland. 'That activity may not be exactly rhythmic, but it can be created by adding together two or three other rhythms. Our data argue that this may be how the brain solves the problem of creating the pattern of movement.'
"Finding these brain rhythms surprised us a bit, as the reaches themselves were not rhythmic. In fact, they were decidedly arrhythmic, and yet underlying it all were these unmistakable patterns,' said Churchland."
This helps me understand why Irmgard Bartenieff's Fundamentals are best understood through movement. Trying to contract, relax, etc. in a certain order would be much more complex than simply moving the arm/scapula with an image in mind and then allowing the movement to happen.