Feedforward and feedback control share an internal model of the arm's dynamics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Rodrigo S MaedaJ Andrew Pruszynski


Humans have a remarkable capacity to learn novel movement patterns in a wide variety of contexts. Recent work has shown that, when countering external forces, the nervous system adjusts not only voluntary (ie. feedforward) control but also reflex (ie. feedback) responses. Here we show that directly altering the physical properties of the arm (i.e. intersegmental dynamics) causes the nervous system to adjust feedforward control and that this learning also transfers to feedback responses even though they were never directly trained. In our first experiment, we altered intersegmental dynamics by asking participants to generate pure elbow movements with the shoulder joint either free to rotate or locked. Locking the shoulder joint cancels the interaction forces that arise at the shoulder during forearm rotation and thus removes the need to activate shoulder muscles to prevent shoulder joint rotation. We first asked whether the nervous system learns this altered mapping of intersegmental dynamics. In the baseline phase, we found robust activation of shoulder flexor muscles for pure elbow flexion trials prior to movement onset - as required to counter the intersegmental dynamics. After locking the shoulder joint in the adaptation pha...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Elbow Joint Structure
Entire Nervous System
Entire Elbow Region
Joint Structure of Shoulder Region
Upper Extremity
Entire Glenohumeral Joint

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