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Modularity in motor control: from muscle synergies to cognitive action representation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198054 Year: Pages: 792 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-805-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-02-03 17:04:57
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Mastering a rich repertoire of motor behaviors, as humans and other animals do, is a surprising and still poorly understood outcome of evolution, development, and learning. Many degrees-of-freedom, non-linear dynamics, and sensory delays provide formidable challenges for controlling even simple actions. Modularity as a functional element, both structural and computational, of a control architecture might be the key organizational principle that the central nervous system employs for achieving versatility and adaptability in motor control. Recent investigations of muscle synergies, motor primitives, compositionality, basic action concepts, and related work in machine learning have contributed to advance, at different levels, our understanding of the modular architecture underlying rich motor behaviors. However, the existence and nature of the modules in the control architecture is far from settled. For instance, regularity and low-dimensionality in the motor output are often taken as an indication of modularity but could they simply be a byproduct of optimization and task constraints? Moreover, what are the relationships between modules at different levels, such as muscle synergies, kinematic invariants, and basic action concepts? One important reason for the new interest in understanding modularity in motor control from different viewpoints is the impressive development in cognitive robotics. In comparison to animals and humans, the motor skills of today’s best robots are limited and inflexible. However, robot technology is maturing to the point at which it can start approximating a reasonable spectrum of isolated perceptual, cognitive, and motor capabilities. These advances allow researchers to explore how these motor, sensory and cognitive functions might be integrated into meaningful architectures and to test their functional limits. Such systems provide a new test bed to explore different concepts of modularity and to address the interaction between motor and cognitive processes experimentally. Thus, the goal of this Research Topic is to review, compare, and debate theoretical and experimental investigations of the modular organization of the motor control system at different levels. By bringing together researchers seeking to understand the building blocks for coordinating many muscles, for planning endpoint and joint trajectories, and for representing motor and behavioral actions in memory we aim at promoting new interactions between often disconnected research areas and approaches and at providing a broad perspective on the idea of modularity in motor control. We welcome original research, methodological, theoretical, review, and perspective contributions from behavioral, system, and computational motor neuroscience research, cognitive psychology, and cognitive robotics.

Supraspinal Control of Automatic Postural Responses Which Pathway Does What?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452309 Year: Pages: 105 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-230-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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Rapid corrective actions, termed automatic postural responses, are essential to counter the destabilizing effect of mechanical perturbations during natural behaviors. Previous research has demonstrated that automatic postural responses of the limbs and body share a number of capabilities in adapting to the prevailing circumstances and these abilities reflect contributions from multiple supraspinal pathways, including brainstem nuclei, basal ganglia, and primary motor cortex. However, we do not know the context-dependent contribution from specific generators, whether different neural pathways have a common role across different effectors, and how sensory and central deficits in one pathway are accommodated by those remaining. Bridging these gaps is essential to integrate the diverse set of studies, develop general theories of motor control, and explicate how the nervous system addresses the partially distinct behavioral demands of co-evolved effector system. The considerable flexibility and multiple interacting pathways of automatic postural responses also make it ideal for understanding how powerful formal theories, like optimal feedback control, are achieved by a distributed hierarchical neural network.

Keywords

reflex --- posture --- supraspinal --- feedback --- neural control

Executive Functions in Psychiatric Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453061 Year: Pages: 142 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-306-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology --- Medicine (General) --- Psychiatry
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Executive Functions comprise a range of neuropsychological processes related to intentional behavior and cognitive control. There are several theoretical models defining and explaining the concept of Executive Functions. Most of these models consider that the term Executive Functions encompasses cognitive process as working memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control and other complex functions as planning, problem-solving and abstract reasoning. Other models argue that motivational and emotional functions, such as affective decision-making, reside under the concept of Executive Function. Much evidence supports how complex cognitive functions are related to the physiological activity of brain networks, including the frontal cortex and its connections with subcortical structures. Several psychiatric disorders related to impairment in these brain networks (eg., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and drug addiction) leading to deficits in Executive Functions. These cognitive deficits affect patients’ everyday functioning, worsening the clinical course of the disease. For example, deficits in Executive Functions are related to suicide behavior in bipolar disorder patients. Furthermore, these deficits also relate to obesity, a lack of adherence to treatment and an underperformance in the workplace and educational settings. The understanding of the role of deficits in Executive Functions, including its neurobiological basis, developmental trajectories, and relationship with clinical outcomes, is fundamental to improve clinical management of psychiatric patients. This research topic includes 13 articles with interdisciplinary contributions related to the understanding of the deficits in Executive Functions and its relationship with clinical manifestations in psychiatric disorders.

Motor Cortex Microcircuits (Frontiers in Brain Microcircuits Series)

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193899 Year: Pages: 133 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-389-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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How does the motor cortex enable mammals to generate accurate, complex, and purposeful movements? A cubic millimeter of motor cortex contains roughly ~10^5 cells, an amazing ~4 Km of axons and ~0.4 Km of dendrites, somehow wired together with ~10^9 synapses. Corticospinal neurons (a.k.a. Betz cells, upper motor neurons) are a key cell type, monosynaptically conveying the output of the cortical circuit to the spinal cord circuits and lower motor neurons. But corticospinal neurons are greatly outnumbered by all the other kinds of neurons in motor cortex, which presumably also contribute crucially to the computational operations carried out for planning, executing, and guiding actions. Determining the wiring patterns, the dynamics of signaling, and how these relate to movement at the level of specific excitatory and inhibitory cell types is critically important for a mechanistic understanding of the input-output organization of motor cortex. While there is a predictive microcircuit hypothesis that relates motor learning to the operation of the cerebellar cortex, we lack such a microcircuit understanding in motor cortex and we consider microcircuits as a central research topic in the field. This Research Topic covers any issues relating to the microcircuit-level analysis of motor cortex. Contributions are welcomed from neuroscientists at all levels of investigation, from in vivo physiology and imaging in humans and monkeys, to rodent models, in vitro anatomy, electrophysiology, electroanatomy, cellular imaging, molecular biology, disease models, computational modeling, and more.

The cognitive and neural bases of human tool use

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194261 Year: Pages: 168 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-426-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Humans are not unique in using tools. But human tool use differs from that known to occur in nonhumans in being very frequent, spontaneous, and diversified. So a fundamental issue is, what are the cognitive and neural bases of human tool use?This Research Topic of Frontiers provides a venue for leading researchers in the field of tool use to present original research papers, integrative reviews or theoretical articles that further our understanding of this topic.Articles address a wide range of issues including, for instance, the nature of the underlying representations (e.g., conceptual, sensorimotor), the mechanisms supporting the incorporation of tools into body schema, the link between imitation and tool use, or the evolutionary origins of human tool use.Articles are included from experimental psychology, neuropsychology, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, developmental psychology, ethology, comparative psychology, and ergonomics. The goal of this Research Topic of Frontiers is to provide a state-of-the-art view of the field.

From Brain to Body: The Impact of Nervous System Declines on Muscle Performance in Aging

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196869 Year: Pages: 154 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-686-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-07 11:22:02
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The deterioration of skeletal muscle performance (e.g., declines in muscle strength and motor performance) with advancing age has long been anecdotally recognized as Shakespeare pointed out nearly a half millennium ago in his monologue The Seven Ages of Man, and has been of scientific interest for well over a century. Over the past several decades the scientific and medical communities have recognized that reduced skeletal muscle performance is a debilitating and life threatening condition in the elderly. For example, the age-associated loss of muscle strength, as well as impairment in the ability to finely control movement, is highly associated with physical disability and difficulty performing activities of daily living. While the nervous system is widely recognized for its role in controlling skeletal muscle during motor function, its role in determining the performance characteristics of aged skeletal muscle has largely been understudied. Historically, it was believed that these reductions in muscle performance were primarily resultant of age-associated adaptations in skeletal muscle (e.g., muscle atrophy). However, aging is associated with widespread qualitative and quantitative changes in both the central and peripheral nervous systems that are likely to influence numerous aspects of muscle performance, such as muscle strength, fatigue, and motor control, as well as mobility. In this research topic, we sought to examine a broad range of issues surrounding: 1) the age-related changes in nervous system anatomical, physiological, and biochemical changes in the central and/or peripheral nervous systems; 2) the functional role of these nervous system changes in contributing to altered skeletal muscle performance and/or mobility; and 3) physical and pharmacologic interventions that act via the nervous system to enhance muscle performance and/or mobility. Researchers and academicians engaged in aging, neuroscience, and/or applied physiology research focused within the scope of this research topic, were encouraged to contribute an original research article, review article, clinical case study, hypothesis and theory article, method article, opinion article, or technology report to this research topic. Herein, we present a series of outstanding articles within this scope of work, including a last minute addition article from Wiesmeier, Dalin and Maurer that is not mentioned in the editorial, that we hope will help to vertically advance the intersecting fields of aging/geriatrics and neuroscience. Lastly, as the editors, we wish to thank all article contributors and peer reviewers for their efforts in contributing to this Research Topic journal issue/book. Additionally, we would like to thank people everywhere who volunteer their time and body for human subjects research studies, such that are presented herein. It is the wonderful individuals who are willing to participate in experiments that make scientific exploration and health and medical advancements possible.

Keywords

Muscle --- Sarcopenia --- dynapenia --- Aging --- Frailty --- weakness --- motor control

Neural and Computational Modeling of Movement Control

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451302 Year: Pages: 178 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-130-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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In the study of sensorimotor systems, an important research goal has been to understand the way neural networks in the spinal cord and brain interact to control voluntary movement. Computational modeling has provided insight into the interaction between centrally generated commands, proprioceptive feedback signals and the biomechanical responses of the moving body. Research in this field is also driven by the need to improve and optimize rehabilitation after nervous system injury and to devise biomimetic methods of control in robotic devices. This research topic is focused on efforts dedicated to identify and model the neuromechanical control of movement. Neural networks in the brain and spinal cord are known to generate patterned activity that mediates coordinated activation of multiple muscles in both rhythmic and discrete movements, e.g. locomotion and reaching. Commands descending from the higher centres in the CNS modulate the activity of spinal networks, which control movement on the basis of sensory feedback of various types, including that from proprioceptive afferents. The computational models will continue to shed light on the central strategies and mechanisms of sensorimotor control and learning. This research topic demonstrated that computational modeling is playing a more and more prominent role in the studies of postural and movement control. With increasing ability to gather data from all levels of the neuromechanical sensorimotor systems, there is a compelling need for novel, creative modeling of new and existing data sets, because the more systematic means to extract knowledge and insights about neural computations of sensorimotor systems from these data is through computational modeling. While models should be based on experimental data and validated with experimental evidence, they should also be flexible to provide a conceptual framework for unifying diverse data sets, to generate new insights of neural mechanisms, to integrate new data sets into the general framework, to validate or refute hypotheses and to suggest new testable hypotheses for future experimental investigation. It is thus expected that neural and computational modeling of the sensorimotor system should create new opportunities for experimentalists and modelers to collaborate in a joint endeavor to advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms for postural and movement control. The editors would like to thank Professor Arthur Prochazka, who helped initially to set up this research topic, and all authors who contributed their articles to this research topic. Our appreciation also goes to the reviewers, who volunteered their time and effort to help achieve the goal of this research topic. We would also like to thank the staff members of editorial office of Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience for their expertise in the process of manuscript handling, publishing, and in bringing this ebook to the readers. The support from the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Misha Tsodyks and Dr. Si Wu is crucial for this research topic to come to a successful conclusion. We are indebted to Dr. Si Li and Ms. Ting Xu, whose assistant is important for this ebook to become a reality. Finally, this work is supported in part by grants to Dr. Ning Lan from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2011CB013304), the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81271684, No. 61361160415, No. 81630050), and the Interdisciplinary Research Grant cross Engineering and Medicine by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (YG20148D09). Dr. Vincent Cheung is supported by startup funds from the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Guest Associate EditorsNing Lan, Vincent Cheung, and Simon Gandevia

Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Swine

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452804 Year: Pages: 95 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-280-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Animal Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most devastating diseases of livestock. The research topic here features nine studies supplementing the state-of-the art of the knowledge on the pathogenesis and epidemiology of FMD in swine.

Peripheral Nervous System-Machine Interfaces

Authors: --- --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453924 Year: Pages: 141 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-392-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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For 5 years, the Peripheral Nervous System-Machine Interfaces workgroup has dedicated itself to the recruitment of researchers, clinicians, and general public in a unified effort to advance the frontier of restoration of quality of life to those with limb deficiency. Our group's mission is to bring together experts from various domains to identify promising new technologies and new opportunities for inquiry and discovery in prosthetics research. This e-Book collects 10 cutting edge research articles written by members of the workgroup, covering three domains prioritized by the workgroup: novel prosthetic technology, approaches for reducing device rejection, and prosthetic control. In our summary editorial, we four principals of the workgroup reflect on our first 5 years, and project our vision for the future, as the Society for Prosthetics.

Peripheral Nervous System-Machine Interfaces, 2nd Edition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454907 Year: Pages: 143 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-490-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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For 5 years, the Peripheral Nervous System-Machine Interfaces workgroup has dedicated itself to the recruitment of researchers, clinicians, and general public in a unified effort to advance the frontier of restoration of quality of life to those with limb deficiency. Our group's mission is to bring together experts from various domains to identify promising new technologies and new opportunities for inquiry and discovery in prosthetics research. This e-Book collects 10 cutting edge research articles written by members of the workgroup, covering three domains prioritized by the workgroup: novel prosthetic technology, approaches for reducing device rejection, and prosthetic control. In our summary editorial, we four principals of the workgroup reflect on our first 5 years, and project our vision for the future, as the Society for Prosthetics.

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