Aug 21, 2007

Unsteady locomotion: integrating muscle function with whole body dynamics and neuromuscular control

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Andrew A Biewener, Monica A Daley

Abstract

By integrating studies of muscle function with analysis of whole body and limb dynamics, broader appreciation of neuromuscular function can be achieved. Ultimately, such studies need to address non-steady locomotor behaviors relevant to animals in their natural environments. When animals move slowly they likely rely on voluntary coordination of movement involving higher brain centers. However, when moving fast, their movements depend more strongly on responses controlled at more local levels. Our focus here is on control of fast-running locomotion. A key observation emerging from studies of steady level locomotion is that simple spring-mass dynamics, which help to economize energy expenditure, also apply to stabilization of unsteady running. Spring-mass dynamics apply to conditions that involve lateral impulsive perturbations, sudden changes in terrain height, and sudden changes in substrate stiffness or damping. Experimental investigation of unsteady locomotion is challenging, however, due to the variability inherent in such behaviors. Another emerging principle is that initial conditions associated with postural changes following a perturbation define different context-dependent stabilization responses. Distinct stabilization...Continue Reading

  • References45
  • Citations50

References

Mentioned in this Paper

In Silico
Neuromuscular Function
Articular System
Neuroregulation
Energy Metabolism
Galliformes
Synaptic Transmission
Whole Body
Running (Physical Activity)
Soleus Muscle Structure

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