The paper deals with three major periods of scientific work of Nikolai Alexandrovich Bernstein, the outstanding Russian scientist, the founder the motor activity theory of human and animal. In 2016 is the 120th anniversary of Bernstein´s birth.
The first period of his scientific activity, from 1922 when Bernstein started his research at the Central Institute of Labour Protection until the middle of the 30s of the 20th century. By this time, he formulated and published the basic principles and ideas of the annular motion control and sensor correction movements of varying complexity and various performance. The second period ends with the fundamental scientific work «On the Construction of Movements» awarded by the USSR State Prize in 1948. The book sums up Bernstein´s more than twenty years of research in the field of biomechanics and physiology of movement. The paper briefly describes the main assumptions of the three chapters of the book. The first chapter «Movements» reveals the evolutionary ideas about the origin of motor function and shaped the principle of the equation of building movements. The second chapter describes five levels with different functionality in varying degrees involved in the implementation of motor actions. The third chapter of the «Development and Decay» deals with the general laws of occurrence and levels of building movements being signs of confirming the level structure of motion in pathology and standards.
In 1950-60-ies of the 20th century Bernstein greatly expanded representation of the functional content and neural substrate levels of building movements, detailed the stages and phases of shaping and improvement of motor skills.
The author shows the importance of scientific achievements of N.A. Bernstein for modern research in the psychophysiology of movements.