Current Bioinformatics

Yi-Ping Phoebe Chen
Department of Computer Science and Information Technology
La Trobe University


Signal-Dependent Noise Induces Muscle Co-Contraction to Achieve Required Movement Accuracy: A Simulation Study with an Optimal Control

Author(s): Yuki Ueyama, Eizo Miyashita.


Simultaneous activation of the agonist and antagonist muscles surrounding a joint, called co-contraction, is suggested to play a role in increasing joint stiffness to improve movement accuracy. However, it has not been clarified how co-contraction is related to movement accuracy, as most models for motor planning and control cannot deal with muscle co-contraction. In this study, the muscle activation and joint stiffness in reaching movements were studied under three different requirement levels of endpoint accuracy using a two-joint six-muscle model and an approximately optimal control. We carried out simulations of biological arm movements for a center-out reaching task under different accuracy demands with different types of motor noise and demonstrated time-varying co-contraction and a double-peaked jointstiffness profile. Furthermore, we showed that the strength of co-contraction and joint stiffness increased depending on the required accuracy level under signal-dependent noise, the magnitude of which was proportional to the motor command but not to additive Gaussian noise. We concluded that the optimal control is a valid model for the human motor control system and that signal-dependent noise is essential to induce co-contraction depending on accuracy demands.

Keywords: Arm reaching, motor control, muscle co-contraction, optimal control, signal-dependent noise, stiffness, Arm Dynamics, Muscle Parameters, elbow extensors, shoulder flexors

Order Reprints Order Eprints Rights & PermissionsPrintExport

Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [16 - 24]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1574893611308010005
Price: $58