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Man creates maps of land, of earth, of sky, of real or imaginary worlds, of micro- and macro-cosmos, of everything, including his own body. Maps are useful for knowledge and for practice, linking one another these two kind of relation with the mapped space. When we say “body maps” we can mean both “maps of body” (representing body) and “maps on body” (representing something else that is projected on body, even forced to be adapted for coinciding with body). Maps are not simply a double of a country or of a body. Mapping gives a different and further ontology to the represented objects by a cause-effect circle, by a dialectic relation between two extended territories (the concrete one and the mapped one). Human body has been mapped as a land to orient our own or other’s navigation. To do this we need marks, references, directional systems: polarities, oriented lines, preferential protocols. Marks may be based on existing anatomical features or on projection of conceptual/symbolic elements, transcending somatic concreteness, relatively heterogeneous to flesh. The anatomical features can regard soft or hard tissues, similarly to “complexio” and “constitutio” of ancient physiognomy. This navigation is aimed to find signs, to read text(s) that is/are written on its surfaces and in its deepness, to act on it. The body maps taxonomy can be based on supports: skin, paper or bit or to contexts/purposes: official medicine (that presents iconographic maps as 4D body imaging and not iconographic maps as DNA), alternative medicine, figurative arts, physiognomics, mantics, motion capture in cinema, erotic contexts (the ancient ars erotica and the modern scientia sexualis) mystic cosmology and so on. A particular case of neuronal mapping is related to movements. This perspective leads us toward a precise direction, grounding the study of the human movement in a very interesting way. This study is still looking for its own center that can define its specificity, its epistemic identity. The term “anthropokinetcs” (from the Greek words anthropos and kinesis) seems to be fully capable of indicating this recently established (in Anglophonic world, but still not existing in Italy) disciplinary area. This term is obviously related to “anthroposomatics”, that indicates the field of the studies related to human body. We aim neither to erase the legitimacy of existing studies of many different sciences that are referred to moving human body nor to create a double of these studies. Instead, we would like to offer them an organic frame to organize their contents and their methods, in order to apply and to communicate them in the best way. This line of study has the purpose of understanding human action thanks to researches that are capable of integrating biomechanical approach with neuronal one (definable “neuro-mechanics”). First of all this approach originates a dialectic play be- tween these two areas (but many others must be involved, as robotics, semiotics, EEC, IIB) and shows that the Nervous System is a “black box” that, after motor learning, manages sensory-motor information as space-time derivatives and integrals. So the CNS is competent (it owns the necessary acquaintance) as an engineer, even if according to a different formalization, it is based on neuronal sources. Anyway it solves real time and with efficacy the interaction problems, managed as input-output patterns. Here we propose to follow and to empower the recent establishment of the anthropokinetics, a knowledge of human action that can be applied in many fields: ergonomics, therapy, motor techniques (in work, in sport, etc.), didactics and so on. Engineering can offer adequate and effective models for the study of the execution of human action. The connecting rod-crank mechanism and, generally, the mathematical-physical approach to moving bodies are meaningful examples. Writing the “trait-d’union” to link one another the biomechanical and the neuronal data means reaching the heart of the matter. When we speak about neural functionality we have to interpret this as the biological datum correlated with the abstract thinking and cultural elements. The natural location of this researches could be seen in the motor sciences academic departments.
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