kinesthesia

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Ancient Greek κινέω (cineō, put in motion) + αἴσθησις (aesthēsis, sensation) in form -αισθησία after anaesthesia, etc. Compare kinesthesis and Modern Greek κιναισθησία.

If this word were borrowed on fully traditional principles it would be cinesthesia (or cinaesthesia); compare cinema from the same root. But more often this Greek root is spelled and pronounced with a k, and in the case of kinesthesia this avoids inconvenient homophony with synaesthesia, the sensation of one type of perception as another (e.g. the perception of smells as colors). Nevertheless the words are still occasionally confused; e.g. [1].

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) (see usage note) /ˌkɪnɪsˈθiʒə/ or /ˌkaɪnɪsˈθiʒə/

Noun[edit]

kinesthesia (countable and uncountable, plural kinesthesias) (abstract)

  1. Sensation or perception of motion.
    1. (physiology) the perception of the movement of one's own body, its limbs and muscles etc.
    2. (performing arts) A spectator's perception of the motion of a performer, or, the effect of the motion of a scene on the spectator.
  2. (see usage note) proprioception or static position sense; the perception of the position and posture of the body; also, more broadly, including the motion of the body as well.

Usage notes[edit]

Pronunciation The traditional rules of pronunciation of Greco-Latin vocabulary prefer the I in the first syllable to be long. The more common pronunciation with short I is by analogy with other words from this root such as kinetic and kinesiology where short I is expected.

Reference: John Sargeaunt, The Pronunciation of English Words Derived from the Latin, 1920. [2]

Meaning The etymological meaning of the word as used in physiology refers specifically to the motion of the body, and a distinction between kinesthesia and the sense of the position of the body is sometimes made in technical texts. In popular use the distinction is made less often.

Reference: Terence R. Anthoney, Neuroanatomy and the Neurologic Exam: A Thesaurus of Synonyms, Similar-Sounding Non-Synonyms, and Terms of Variable Meaning, 1993. ISBN 0849386314 [3]

Synonyms[edit]

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Quotations[edit]

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  • 1902, George van Ness Dearborn, “A contribution to the Physiology of Kinesthesia,” in Journal Für Psychologie und Neurologie [4]
    The work made endeavor to keep as close as possible to the ordinary conditions of average voluntary movement with the arm; the chief departure from this normality was obviously the blindfolding of the subjects, but herein lies of course the crux of the results in a study of kinesthesia, for it is one of the unexplained curious facts of psychology that vision drowns completely out in unskilled movement the kinesthetic sensations.
  • [1972] 1998, Michael Goldman, “Romeo and Juliet: The Meaning of a Theatrical Experience,” excerpt of Shakespeare and the Energies of Drama quoted in an edition of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (ISBN 0451526864) [5]
    The dominant bodily feelings we get as an audience are oppressive heat, sexual desire, a frequent whiz-bang exhilarating kinesthesia of speed and clash, and above all a feeling of the keeping-down and separation of highly charged bodies, whose pressure towards release and whose sudden discharge determine the rhythm of the play.
  • 1991, Eugenio Barba, A Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology [6]
    Everything that works directly on the spectators’ attention, on their understanding, their emotions, their kinaesthesia, is an action.
  • 1997, Jane C Desmond, Meaning in Motion [7]
    At the same time the kinesthesia of early modern dance engaged female viewers in ways that the spectacle of late-ninteenth-century ballet did not. In fact, since many female spectators had experienced the same movement techniques that the dancers transformed in performance—Delsarteanism and aesthetic gymnastics—their kinesthetic response was particularly intense and led more than a few to identify the dancer’s flow of bodily motion as reflective of their own.
  • 2002, Gary Delforge, Musculoskeletal Trauma [8]
    Muscle fatigue has been shown to have a negative effect on knee joint position sense and kinesthesia (Skinner et al. 1986) and glenohumeral position sense (Myers et al. 1999) in healthy subjects.
  • 2004, John F Roe, All This Is So [9]
    Now she knew more, far more, experience lashing her every moment, the scene’s kinaesthesia engulfing her.