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  • Harmonious combination of agents or functions towards the production of a result; said esp. in Physiol. in reference to the simultaneous and orderly action of a number of muscles in the production of certain complex movements. (OED)

    These two highest nervous centres […] perform the general function of doubly-compound co-ordination.

    Spencer, H. (1870). The Principles of Psychology, vol. 1, 2nd. ed.: 61.


    In each of these acts, the co-ordination of a large number of muscular movements is required.

    Carpenter, W.B. (1871). The physiology of the will. The Contemporary Review 17, 192-217: 196; also in: id. (1879). Principles of Mental Physiology: 20.


    Let us […] examine the coordination of the movements of our own bodies.

    Foster, M. (1879). Text Book of Physiology, 3rd ed.: 562.


    Co-ordination in biological organisms takes the form of hierarchical control levels which at each level provide greater and greater freedom or adaptability for the whole organism by selectively adding more and more constraints to its component parts. […] Life is distinguished from inanimate matter by the co-ordination of its constraints. The fundamental function of this co-ordination is to allow alternative descriptions to be translated into alternative actions. The basic example of this function is the co-ordinated set of macromolecules which executes the genetic coding. It is useful to think of such co-ordinated constraints as generalized language structures that classify the detailed dynamical processes at one level of organization according to their importance for function at a higher level.

    Pattee, H.H. (1971). Physcial theories of biological co-ordination. Quartery Review of Biophysics 4, 255-276: 256; 273.