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Evidence suggests that the nervous system controls motor tasks using a low-dimensional modular organization of muscle activation. However, it is not clear if such an organization applies to coordination of human walking, nor how nervous system injury may alter the organization of motor modules and their biomechanical outputs. We first tested the hypothesis(More)
Recently developed computational techniques have been used to reduce muscle activation patterns of high complexity to a simple synergy organization and to bring new insights to the long-standing degrees of freedom problem in motor control. We used a nonnegative factorization approach to identify muscle synergies during postural responses in the cat and to(More)
We recently showed that four muscle synergies can reproduce multiple muscle activation patterns in cats during postural responses to support surface translations. We now test the robustness of functional muscle synergies, which specify muscle groupings and the active force vectors produced during postural responses under several biomechanically distinct(More)
Postural control is a natural behavior that requires the spatial and temporal coordination of multiple muscles. Complex muscle activation patterns characterizing postural responses suggest the need for independent muscle control. However, our previous work shows that postural responses in cats can be robustly reproduced by the activation of a few muscle(More)
Recent research suggests that the nervous system controls muscles by activating flexible combinations of muscle synergies to produce a wide repertoire of movements. Muscle synergies are like building blocks, defining characteristic patterns of activation across multiple muscles that may be unique to each individual, but perform similar functions. The(More)
We investigated muscle activity, ground reaction forces, and center of mass (CoM) acceleration in two different postural behaviors for standing balance control in humans to determine whether common neural mechanisms are used in different postural tasks. We compared nonstepping responses, where the base of support is stationary and balance is recovered by(More)
Recent evidence suggests that complex spatiotemporal patterns of muscle activity can be explained with a low-dimensional set of muscle synergies or M-modes. While it is clear that both spatial and temporal aspects of muscle coordination may be low dimensional, constraints on spatial versus temporal features of muscle coordination likely involve different(More)
Postural stability depends on interactions between the musculoskeletal system and neural control mechanisms. We present a frontal plane model stabilized by delayed feedback to analyze the effects of altered stance width on postural responses to perturbations. We hypothesized that changing stance width alters the mechanical dynamics of the body and limits(More)
The simple act of standing up is an important and essential motor behavior that most humans and animals achieve with ease. Yet, maintaining standing balance involves complex sensorimotor transformations that must continually integrate a large array of sensory inputs and coordinate multiple motor outputs to muscles throughout the body. Multiple, redundant(More)
Although the neural basis of balance control remains unknown, recent studies suggest that a feedback law on center-of-mass (CoM) kinematics determines the temporal patterning of muscle activity during human postural responses. We hypothesized that the same feedback law would also explain variations in muscle activity to support-surface translation as(More)