Biomechanics as a window into the neural control of movement

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Abstract

Biomechanics and motor control are discussed as parts of a more general science, physics of living systems. Major problems of biomechanics deal with exact definition of variables and their experimental measurement. In motor control, major problems are associated with formulating currently unknown laws of nature specific for movements by biological objects. Mechanics-based hypotheses in motor control, such as those originating from notions of a generalized motor program and internal models, are non-physical. The famous problem of motor redundancy is wrongly formulated; it has to be replaced by the principle of abundance, which does not pose computational problems for the central nervous system. Biomechanical methods play a central role in motor control studies. This is illustrated with studies with the reconstruction of hypothetical control variables and those exploring motor synergies within the framework of the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. Biomechanics and motor control have to merge into physics of living systems, and the earlier this process starts the better.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-20
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Kinetics
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Physiology (medical)

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