The Basic Neurocellular Patterns (BNP) were developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen as an integral part of the Body-Mind Centering® approach to somatic movement education.
This video on the BNP is designed to accompany Bonnie's book, Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Exploring Developmental Movement. It can also be useful for people who have studied the BNP:
The Basic Neurocellular Patterns (formerly called The Basic Neurological Patterns), or BNP, are potential patterns of movement inherent first in the movement of fluid through the cellular membranes and then recorded and organized in the nervous system. They exist, both phylogenetically in the animal kingdom and ontogenetically in the developmental stages of the human infant. The BNP are stimulated into existence through relationship and interaction with the environment. They are called forth based on the relative simplicity or complexity of their structure and function and the supporting and challenging conditions in the environment.
Because these patterns are an outer manifestation of inner motility and neurological organization, I have named them the Basic Neurocellular Patterns. Understanding and embodying these neurological patterns and their developmental progression can greatly facilitate full developmental potential. Because these movement patterns are most recognizable in animals, they are classified as prevertebrate and vertebrate movement sequences. There is a progression in which each pattern underlies all succeeding patterns and modifies each preceding pattern. This progression is not linear but occurs in overlapping waves. Patterns occur, integrate into the next pattern and then re-emerge in the next level of complexity.
An understanding of the Basic Neurocellular Patterns is important in caring for infants and educating children -- those who are on a normally developing path and those with developmental challenges. When there are developmental difficulties and/or neurological disorganization, these patterns can act as gateways to reorganizing the nervous system and significantly create greater ease and control.
With adults, these patterns can facilitate greater ease in everyday movement and indicate underlying factors in alignment/movement difficulties. They offer a movement form within which we can further engage and deepen our aliveness and sense of possibility.
Each of the Basic Neurocellular Patterns is viewed from the standpoint of normal development. They can be applied to anyone at any age of life to analyze areas of movement efficiency and inefficiency and to improve one’s proficiency of movement. If any patterns have become overly dominant and are preventing other patterns of behavior from emerging, we can explore which patterns are missing that would modify the restrictive patterns and discover ways to enhance them. This will allow the overly dominant patterns to integrate into the total matrix of development and thereby allow more mature behavior to emerge.
The process of embodiment through these developmental pathways allows us to experience more the fullness of our being and our ability to move through life with greater ease, flexibility, confidence and understanding.
The BNP are based upon the development of perception and movement through the embodiment of distinct changes in consciousness. Their understanding is gained by experience, both personally and shared with others. This is a map only, derived from the past experiences of others. The concepts and ideas expressed are not given as absolutes but as reference points. For it to have meaning for you, you must explore them experientially yourself and gain your own insights.
The Basic Neurocellular Patterns: Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s crystallization of over fifty years investigating human developmental movement.
It contains more than three hours of instruction covering:
- prevertebrate and vertebrate patterns
- step-by-step instruction
- demonstration of the Basic Neurocellular Patterns
- key points for learning and teaching the patterns
- rare classroom footage of Bonnie teaching
Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen's innovative work has influenced many fields that utilize movement, development, education, therapy and the body-mind relationship. She is the author of Sensing, Feeling, and Action and the founder of the School for Body-Mind Centering®, where people from over twenty-five countries have come to study.
The Basic Neurocellular Patterns can be used as the foundation for a personal movement practice and can be applied to:
Three discs; 190 minutes; English subtitles.
- athletics and martial arts
- infant and child development
- occupational and physical therapy
- somatic movement practices
- somatic psychology