Generalizing movement patterns following shoulder fixation

Journal of Neurophysiology
Rodrigo S MaedaJ Andrew Pruszynski

Abstract

Generalizing newly learned movement patterns beyond the training context is challenging for most motor learning situations. Here we tested whether learning of a new physical property of the arm during self-initiated reaching generalizes to new arm configurations. Human participants performed a single-joint elbow reaching task and/or countered mechanical perturbations that created pure elbow motion with the shoulder joint free to rotate or locked by the manipulandum. With the shoulder free, we found activation of shoulder extensor muscles for pure elbow extension trials, appropriate for countering torques that arise at the shoulder due to forearm rotation. After locking the shoulder joint, we found a partial reduction in shoulder muscle activity, appropriate because locking the shoulder joint cancels the torques that arise at the shoulder due to forearm rotation. In our first three experiments, we tested whether and to what extent this partial reduction in shoulder muscle activity generalizes when reaching in different situations: 1) different initial shoulder orientation, 2) different initial elbow orientation, and 3) different reach distance/speed. We found generalization for the different shoulder orientation and reach distan...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Entire Glenohumeral Joint
Entire Upper Limb
With Configuration
Shoulder
Elbow Joint Structure
Clinical Trials
Participant
Reflex Action
Elbow
Patterns

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