Mathematical Modeling Strategy Integrates External Factors Into Limb Movement
Neuroscientists have studied many aspects of how actions are coordinated by the brain. Recently, the use of computer models has become important as theories have advanced assuming that the brain acts as an optimal controller, according to certain specific criteria. Most models use a certain criterion for this analysis, modeled, then compared to experimental models. However, most of these fail to take into account the external pressures experienced by the limb.
Gravitation is a constraint that living organisms must account for at all times. Even simple vertical arm movements have been experimentally observed to have different control systems when moving upward than moving downward. According to the authors, this could indicate that the brain capitalizes on gravitational force when possible during movement in an attempt to optimize the energy consumption of the limb.
Thus, the authors modeled this biological rule using a hypothetical-deductive mathematical model which incorporates short periods of muscle inactivation with direction-dependent hand kinematics. Further, the model was verified experimentally with human subjects, and have been shown to be both necessary and sufficient for opteimal arm control.
The brain plans movements, according to the authors, as an integration of biological and environmental constraints, in a method which, if understood, could have value for understanding motor dysfunctions and developing effective rehabilitation programs. Additionally, it highlights the potential for mathematicians and neuroscientists to work together to make powerful conclusions about biological organisms.
The Inactivation Principle: Mathematical Solutions Minimizing the Absolute Work and Biological Implications for the Planning of Arm Movements.
Berret B, Darlot C, Jean F, Pozzo T, Papaxanthis C, et al.
PLoS Comput Biol 4(10): e1000194.
Click Here for Full Length Article
Recommended related news
There are no references listed for this article.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
McKenney, Anna Sophia. "Mathematical Modeling Strategy Integrates External Factors Into Limb Movement." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Oct. 2008. Web.
25 Mar. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/126467.php>
McKenney, A. (2008, October 24). "Mathematical Modeling Strategy Integrates External Factors Into Limb Movement." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.