Not familiar with some of the terminology on the site? See our glossary below.

We often use expressions such as “activate a muscle”, or “active state”, or “active stretching” etc.

The word “active” in all these cases means that we intentionally command our brain to continuously send impulses (electrical signals) to the muscles of the body part we are talking about. 

Depending on the context, either the process or the result of becoming better suited to changes in the conditions of the environment.

In the context of motor learning, Adaptive Learning is the learning of a new relationship between well-learned movements or new spatial goals.


In another context, the term “Adaptive learning” may be used to describe the customization of learning content to address the unique needs of each learner. 

So if you Google, please consider the context.

Awareness, or Conscious Awareness is either the state of noticing or the ability to notice a particular sensory event.

Something may be happening right next to you (or inside your body), but until you notice it, you are are not consciously aware of it.

Body awareness is the state or ability to notice particular sensory signals coming from within your body.

Since there are so many different things going on in the body, for our educational purposes, we subdivide “body awareness” into Interoceptive, Proprioceptive and Spatial awarenesses. 

The Cerebellum is a part of the brain, which contains roughly 50% of all the brain’s neurons. Cerebellum is crucial for precision, coordination and correct timing of movements.

On this website, when we say “coordination” we refer to “motor coordination”.

Motor coordination is the combination of several body movements that results in an intended action.

Distributed Activation is one of the Baseworks Movement Principles. Distributed Activation means that the whole body is kept in a state of low intensity activation (muscle contraction) while different movements of increasing complexity are performed.

A type of chemicals produced in our body mainly in response to pain and stress. Their main effects are pain-reduction and euphoria.

Aerobic and strenuous exercise are known to stimulate the release of endorphins.

Such phenomena as the runner’s high and the exercise-induced reduction of pain are associated with the effect of the release of endorphins.

Fight-or-Flight is the physiological response to an attack or perceived threat. It is associated with a coordinated activation of the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system.

It allows to quickly mobilize a lot of energy, increasing the chance of surviving the threat.

HPA stands for “Hypothalamus, Pituitary,  and Adrenal glands”.

These three glands and their hormones are the main players of the so called Stress response.

HPA axis activation means the activation of the Stress response.

Not to be confused with the sympathetic nervous system and fight-or-flight response.

Interoceptive Awareness is the awareness of the interoceptive sensory signals.

Interoception is the sense of the internal state of the body.

Interoception can give us information about the state of the cardiorespiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and immune systems. Pain is also an interoceptive sensation.

Micro movements is a Baseworks Key Principles term.

It refers to subtle, almost invisible movements of any body part.

Spinal micro movements refer to the subtle undulating movements of the spine.

When we are talking about body movement, “motor” refers to “movement”.

Motor skill is a learned ability to cause an intended movement outcome.

Motor control is the process by which we use our brain to activate and control the muscle to cause the movement of our limbs according to our intention.

For simplicity, we often use the term Movement Control instead of motor control.


In a broader neurobiological sense, the word “motor” does not always mean “movement”. When describing the direction of the flow of a signal in the nervous system, motor signals flow from center to periphery . An example would be from the spinal cord to the muscle.  While Sensory signals flow from periphery to center. An example would be from the muscle to the spinal cord.

By analogy with a language vocabulary,  Movement Vocabulary is the arsenal/library of movements that we can readily perform.

Conceptually, the movement vocabulary is “stored” in the Motor Cortex of the brain.

The ability of the brain to change, rewire, and/or grow new connections between the brain cells.

One of the 2 branches of the Autonomic nervous system, which is associated with rest and digest state.

Primary Motor Cortex, or M1* is the area of the brain which contains a “motor map” of the body. It is the main contributor to generating neural impulses (electrical signals) that pass down to the spinal cord and control the execution of movement (coordinated muscle contraction). 

* Note:

Technically, speaking, the terms M1 and Primary Motor Cortex come from different reserach/historical backgrounds and refer to overlapping but slightly different areas. M1 is much easier to remember than Primary Motor cortex, so we recommend that if this the first time you enter this topic, just think about M1 and Primary Motor Cortex as synonyms. Once you feel you want to know more, there is plenty of information online that will allow you to get familiar with how motor cortex can be broken down into sub-areas with different functions.

Proprioceptive awareness is the awareness of the proprioceptive sensory signals.

Proprioception is the sense of the position and movement of the body.

Skill acquisition is the process of acquiring a new skill. 

Spatial awareness is the state or the ability to feel how different parts of the body are arranged in space, and how the body is arranged in space in relation to other objects.

One of the 2 branches of the autonomic nervous system, which is associated with fight-or-flight reaction and energy expenditure.