Toward a new theory of motor synergies

Mark L. Latash, John P. Scholz, Gregor Schöner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

598 Scopus citations


Driven by recent empirical studies, we offer a new understanding of the degrees of freedom problem, and propose a refined concept of synergy as a neural organization that ensures a one-to-many mapping of variables providing for both stability of important performance variables and flexibility of motor patterns to deal with possible perturbations and/or secondary tasks. Empirical evidence is reviewed, including a discussion of the operationalization of stability/flexibility through the method of the uncontrolled manifold. We show how this concept establishes links between the various accounts for how movement is organized in redundant effector systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-308
Number of pages33
JournalMotor control
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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