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Supraspinal Control of Automatic Postural Responses Which Pathway Does What?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452309 Year: Pages: 105 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-230-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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Rapid corrective actions, termed automatic postural responses, are essential to counter the destabilizing effect of mechanical perturbations during natural behaviors. Previous research has demonstrated that automatic postural responses of the limbs and body share a number of capabilities in adapting to the prevailing circumstances and these abilities reflect contributions from multiple supraspinal pathways, including brainstem nuclei, basal ganglia, and primary motor cortex. However, we do not know the context-dependent contribution from specific generators, whether different neural pathways have a common role across different effectors, and how sensory and central deficits in one pathway are accommodated by those remaining. Bridging these gaps is essential to integrate the diverse set of studies, develop general theories of motor control, and explicate how the nervous system addresses the partially distinct behavioral demands of co-evolved effector system. The considerable flexibility and multiple interacting pathways of automatic postural responses also make it ideal for understanding how powerful formal theories, like optimal feedback control, are achieved by a distributed hierarchical neural network.

Keywords

reflex --- posture --- supraspinal --- feedback --- neural control

Modularity in motor control: from muscle synergies to cognitive action representation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198054 Year: Pages: 792 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-805-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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Mastering a rich repertoire of motor behaviors, as humans and other animals do, is a surprising and still poorly understood outcome of evolution, development, and learning. Many degrees-of-freedom, non-linear dynamics, and sensory delays provide formidable challenges for controlling even simple actions. Modularity as a functional element, both structural and computational, of a control architecture might be the key organizational principle that the central nervous system employs for achieving versatility and adaptability in motor control. Recent investigations of muscle synergies, motor primitives, compositionality, basic action concepts, and related work in machine learning have contributed to advance, at different levels, our understanding of the modular architecture underlying rich motor behaviors. However, the existence and nature of the modules in the control architecture is far from settled. For instance, regularity and low-dimensionality in the motor output are often taken as an indication of modularity but could they simply be a byproduct of optimization and task constraints? Moreover, what are the relationships between modules at different levels, such as muscle synergies, kinematic invariants, and basic action concepts? One important reason for the new interest in understanding modularity in motor control from different viewpoints is the impressive development in cognitive robotics. In comparison to animals and humans, the motor skills of today’s best robots are limited and inflexible. However, robot technology is maturing to the point at which it can start approximating a reasonable spectrum of isolated perceptual, cognitive, and motor capabilities. These advances allow researchers to explore how these motor, sensory and cognitive functions might be integrated into meaningful architectures and to test their functional limits. Such systems provide a new test bed to explore different concepts of modularity and to address the interaction between motor and cognitive processes experimentally. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to review, compare, and debate theoretical and experimental investigations of the modular organization of the motor control system at different levels. By bringing together researchers seeking to understand the building blocks for coordinating many muscles, for planning endpoint and joint trajectories, and for representing motor and behavioral actions in memory we aim at promoting new interactions between often disconnected research areas and approaches and at providing a broad perspective on the idea of modularity in motor control. We welcome original research, methodological, theoretical, review, and perspective contributions from behavioral, system, and computational motor neuroscience research, cognitive psychology, and cognitive robotics.

Neural Computation in Embodied Closed-Loop Systems for the Generation of Complex Behavior: From Biology to Technology

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889456055 Year: Pages: 278 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-605-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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How can neural and morphological computations be effectively combined and realized in embodied closed-loop systems (e.g., robots) such that they can become more like living creatures in their level of performance? Understanding this will lead to new technologies and a variety of applications.To tackle this research question, here, we bring together experts from different fields (including Biology, Computational Neuroscience, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence) to share their recent findings and ideas and to update our research community. This eBook collects 17 cutting edge research articles, covering neural and morphological computations as well as the transfer of results to real world applications, like prosthesis and orthosis control and neuromorphic hardware implementation.

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