We describe a model for the regulation of fast, single-joint movements, based on the equilibrium-point hypothesis. Limb movement follows constant rate shifts of independently regulated neuromuscular variables. The independently regulated variables are tentatively identified as thresholds of a length-sensitive reflex for each of the participating muscles. We use the model to predict EMG patterns associated with changes in the conditions of movement execution, specifically, changes in movement times, velocities, amplitudes, and moments of limb inertia. The approach provides a theoretical neural framework for the dual-strategy hypothesis, which considers certain movements to be results of one of two basic, speed-sensitive or speed-insensitive strategies. This model is advanced as an alternative to pattern-imposing models based on explicit regulation of timing and amplitudes of signals that are explicitly manifest in the EMG paterns. The EMG patterns for fast movements predicted by the model are compared with published experimental observations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience