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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
The modular control of muscles in groups, often referred to as muscle synergies, has been proposed to provide a motor repertoire of actions for the robust control of movement. However, it is not clear whether muscle synergies identified in one task are also recruited by different neural pathways subserving other motor behaviors. We tested the hypothesis(More)
The musculoskeletal redundancy of the body provides multiple solutions for performing motor tasks. We have proposed that the nervous system solves this unconstrained problem through the recruitment of motor modules or functional muscle synergies that map motor intention to action. Consistent with this hypothesis, we showed that trial-by-trial variations in(More)
Although feedback models have been used to simulate body motions in human postural control, it is not known whether muscle activation patterns generated by the nervous system during postural responses can also be explained by a feedback control process. We investigated whether a simple feedback law could explain temporal patterns of muscle activation in(More)