Movement in the human body analysis

Movement in the human body is possible due to specific interactions between the nervous, muscular and
skeletal systems.  For this paper, you will describe these interactions as your body goes through specific actions.

You see a delicious cookie on the table in front of you.  You decide you will try one.  To do this you must:
1) Lift your arm directly in front of you to reach for the cookie – you produce movement at the shoulder
2) Grasp the cookie with your fingers and your thumb – you produce movements at the MP joints
3) Bring the cookie to your mouth – you produce movement at your elbow

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Required Elements
The paper must have the following elements as you describe how getting this cookie to your mouth is possible:
1) APA Style: The paper should written in APA style, have an abstract, separate sections with headings, a
bibliography page & be properly sited. See link in blackboard for specifics

2) An Introduction: Introduce the topic by explaining the role each system plays in movement and how
these systems interact to produce movement in general (no specific movements here).  The introduction
should be a thorough discussion of the topic before you get specific.

3) Motor Pathway: The specific path the nerve signal travels through the brain, spinal cord and spinal
nerves so that the conscious thought that starts in the brain “I will pick up the cookie” reaches the
muscles and causes movement at the joint. (The motor pathway as discussed in class) – This is
described only once in general, NOT for each specific movement!

4) Nerve Physiology: The mechanism by which the nerve signal is initiated in the neuron, propagated down
the axon and passed to the muscles (Nerve physiology as discussed in class)

5) Muscle Physiology: The mechanism by which the muscles are stimulated by the nerve and then contract,
including sliding filament theory (Muscle Physiology as discussed in class).

6) Descriptions of the interaction between the nerves, muscles and bones for each movement: you should
describe specifically what happens when going through movements 1-3 above.  Be sure to:
a. Name the movements that occur at the joints (flexion, elevation, extension abduction etc.).
b. Name the specific nerves that stimulate the specific muscles to pull the specific bones to produce
movements you identified at the joint.
c. DO NOT LIST the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves!  Name them as you describe what is
happening – how they are interacting with each other to produce movement.  See example below

Example:  “ There are many motor and sensory neurological pathways that combine the CNS and
PNS. In this example, in order to move any muscle or coordinate any muscle group the following neuropathway
is utilized by the nervous system……”.

“Each nerve cell conducts impulses through the following physiological processes…(elaborate in

“At each neuromuscular junction the following occurs……(elaborate in detail)”

“each muscle contraction involves individual muscle fibers and their sarcomeres undergoing the
contraction cycle…which in includes…(elaborate in detail)”
“ To kick a ball requires flexion, followed by rapid extension at the knee.  The knee is a hinge joint
formed by articulation between the medial and lateral condyles of both the femur and tibia.  To flex the knee,
nerve impulses exit the spinal cord via the sacral plexus (L1 to S3) and travel down the tibial part of the sciatic
nerve.  The sciatic nerve synapses with the three muscles of the hamstrings, stimulating contraction in these
muscles.  The semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris make up the hamstrings on the posterior
side of the thigh.  When these three muscles contract, they work together to pull the tibia and fibula back and up
toward the posterior side of the femur.  This action flexes the knee, causing the condyles’ of the tibia to glide
back and upward along the condyles’ of the femur, decreasing the angle of the knee joint, and bringing the tibia
and fibula closer to the femur at the back of the thigh.  Then, to kick the ball requires you to swing the lower leg
forward by extending the knee.  To extend the knee…

This is the rubric that will be used to score your paper.  Examine it closely to make sure you are including all
required aspects of the paper.

Rubric – Final Anatomy Paper ____ Thorough introduction pertaining to how movement is produced in the body in general, College level writing in paper (5pts)
____ Description of a general motor pathway through brain and spinal cord – thorough and correct (10 pts)
____ Nerve Physiology: (20 pts)
1. How Impulse is initiated – thorough & correct
2. How Impulse is propagated – thorough & correct
3. How impulse is transmitted – thorough & correct
____ Muscle Physiology: (20 pts)
1. How muscle  is stimulated – thorough & correct
2. How stimulus causes contraction – thorough & correct
3. Contraction – Sliding filament theory – thorough & correct
____ Reach for cookie: (15 pts)
1. Movement at shoulder joint identified correctly
2. Nerves, muscles, and bones needed for the movement identified correctly
3. Description of the interaction needed for the movement thorough and correct
____ Grasp cookie: (15 pts)
1. Movement at the metacarpophalangeal joints of fingers & carpometacarpal joint of thumb identified correctly
2. Nerves, muscles, and bones needed for the movement identified correctly
3. Description of the interaction needed for the movement thorough and correct
____ Bring Cookie to mouth: (15pts)
1.  Movement at elbow joint identified correctly
2. Nerves, muscles, and bones needed for the movement identified correctly
3. Description of the interaction needed for the movement thorough and correct

List of Do’s and Don’ts for the Paper

Do’s Don’ts

• Do use the rubric to verify that you have included

all required components of the paper

• Don’t lose points by leaving something out! If it

is not there, I can’t give you points.

• Do look up and verify that you are identifying the

motion at the joint correctly for the action you are

trying to complete.

• Example: What does flexion of the knee look

like? Is that the motion you make to sit down on a

bus? Verify!

• Don’t get the motions at the joint wrong. If the

motion is wrong than all the muscles and nerves

will be wrong too

• Do look up which muscles produce the movement

you have identified at the joint

• Do look up the which nerves stimulate the

muscles you have identified for that movement

• Don’t guess at the nerves and muscles needed to

produce the specific movements you have

identified – use your resources! You may need to

name some structures that were not studied in


• Do write a specific description of interactions that

occur between the specific nerves, muscle and

bones when describing the motion at a joint!

How do nerves and muscles interact?

How do muscles and bones interact?

What is the role of each in movement?

Example of what to DO:

“To flex the knee, a nerve impulse passes from the

sciatic nerve to stimulate the three muscles of the

hamstrings, the semimembranosus,

semitendinosus and the biceps femoris, causing

them to contract. When these muscles contract,

they pull the tibia and fibula back and up toward

the posterior side of the femur, causing flexion at

the join.t….”

See full example of kicking a ball on instructions!

• Don’t create a list the muscles, bones and nerves

involved in a motion and think that you are done!

That is only a rough organization of the facts you

need to write a description of the interaction

between these structures. Example of what NOT

to do:

“To flex the knee involves the 3 hamstrings – the

semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps

femoris, the tibia, fibula and femur, and the

sciatic nerve.”

• Don’t describe the anatomy in place of how these

structures interact…. If you describe how the

knee is put together and how the muscles

attach… great… then describe how they interact.

• Do be descriptive and specific in how the bones

move at the joint – use directional terms to

distinguish between flexion, extension adduction.

Example: …the hamstrings pull the tibia and

fibula back and up toward the posterior side of

the femur, causing the medial and lateral

condyles of the tibia to glide back and up on the

condyles of the femur, flexing the knee joint….”

• Don’t just list the bones that are pulled to

describe how to “flex the knee” – explain how

they are pulled

• Don’t say the bones “flex” or “extend” the

movement occurs at the joint. A bone that flexes

or extends might snap.

• Don’t restate the movement at the joint to

describe how the bones are moved by the muscles

• Do verify that the motor pathway is complete and


• Do verify that the mechanisms for nerve and

muscle physiology is complete and correct

• Don’t leave sections out – verify accuracy

• Do follow APA style – look it up and ask


• Don’t omit citations

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