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Multisensory Control of Movement$
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Alain Berthoz

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198547853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198547853.001.0001

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Muscle activation patterns and joint-angle coordination in multijoint movements

Muscle activation patterns and joint-angle coordination in multijoint movements

(p.292) (p.293) 19 Muscle activation patterns and joint-angle coordination in multijoint movements
Multisensory Control of Movement

Stan Gielen

Oxford University Press

Although human motor performance appears to be remarkably flexible and easy, the underlying neuronal operations are only vaguely understood, even for well-studied eye, head, and arm movements. The same flexibility of the human motor system, which provides animals and man with a large repertoire of motor behavior such as running, eating, and mating, is also one of the obstacles in understanding the basic principles that underlie their motor behavior. Normal motor behavior really needs the complex organization of muscles and joints, and one can certainly not make the general claim that the motor system is redundant. Given the flexibility and the large number of degrees of freedom in the motor system, one might wonder what happens for simple motor tasks such as grasping for a nearby ball. A ball in the same position can be grasped in various ways by different combinations of joint angles in the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Is the same motor task realized by movements that are randomly chosen from the available repertoire of movements which might do, or is there a consistent reproducible pattern of motor behavior? If the latter is the case, can the constraints that are imposed in order to reproduce the same motor behavior every time when the same motor task is repeated, be understood? This chapter addresses these questions, aiming to give a review of some recent and important experimental data on this topic and to provide a theoretical framework on how to interpret this data.

Keywords:   motor behavior, eye movement, head movement, arm movement, human motor system, multijoint movements

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