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Interaction of rhythmic and discrete pattern generators in single joint movements




The study investigates a single-joint movement task that combines a translatory and cyclic component with the objective to investigate the interaction of discrete and rhythmic movement elements. Participants performed an elbow movement in the horizontal plane, oscillating at a prescribed frequency around one target and shifting to a second target upon a trigger signal, without stopping the oscillation. Analyses focused on extracting the mutual influences of the rhythmic and the discrete component of the task. Major findings are: (1) The onset of the discrete movement was confined to a limited phase window in the rhythmic cycle. (2) Its duration was influenced by the period of oscillation. (3) The rhythmic oscillation was "perturbed" by the discrete movement as indicated by phase resetting. On the basis of these results we propose a model for the coordination of discrete and rhythmic actions (K. Matsuoka, Sustained oscillations generated by mutually inhibiting neurons with adaptations, Biological Cybernetics 52 (1985) 367-376; Mechanisms of frequency and pattern control in the neural rhythm generators, Biological Cybernetics 56 (1987) 345-353). For rhythmic movements an oscillatory pattern generator is developed following models of half-center oscillations (D. Bullock, S. Grossberg, The VITE model: a neural command circuit for generating arm and articulated trajectories, in: J.A.S. Kelso, A.J. Mandel, M. F. Shlesinger (Eds.), Dynamic Patterns in Complex Systems. World Scientific. Singapore. 1988. pp. 305-326). For discrete movements a point attractor dynamics is developed close to the VITE model For each joint degree of freedom both pattern generators co-exist but exert mutual inhibition onto each other. The suggested modeling framework provides a unified account for both discrete and rhythmic movements on the basis of neuronal circuitry. Simulation results demonstrated that the effects observed in human performance can be replicated using the two pattern generators with a mutually inhibiting coupling.

Author(s): Sternad, D. and Dean, W. J. and Schaal, S.
Book Title: Human Movement Science
Volume: 19
Number (issue): 4
Pages: 627-665
Year: 2000

Department(s): Autonomous Motion
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

Cross Ref: p1447
Note: clmc
URL: http://www-clmc.usc.edu/publications/S/sternad-HMS2000.pdf


  title = {Interaction of rhythmic and discrete pattern generators in single joint movements},
  author = {Sternad, D. and Dean, W. J. and Schaal, S.},
  booktitle = {Human Movement Science},
  volume = {19},
  number = {4},
  pages = {627-665},
  year = {2000},
  note = {clmc},
  crossref = {p1447},
  url = {http://www-clmc.usc.edu/publications/S/sternad-HMS2000.pdf}