Evolution of Motor Control: From Reflexes and Motor Programs to the Equilibrium-Point Hypothesis

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Abstract

This brief review analyzes the evolution of motor control theories along two lines that emphasize active (motor programs) and reactive (reflexes) features of voluntary movements. It suggests that the only contemporary hypothesis that integrates both approaches in a fruitful way is the equilibrium-point hypothesis. Physical, physiological, and behavioral foundations of the EP-hypothesis are considered as well as relations between the EP-hypothesis and the recent developments of the notion of motor synergies. The paper ends with a brief review of the criticisms of the EP-hypothesis and challenges that the hypothesis faces at this time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Human Kinetics
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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