A central problem in motor control relates to the coordination of the arm's many degrees of freedom. This problem concerns the many arm postures (kinematics) that correspond to the same hand position in space and the movement trajectories between begin and end position (dynamics) that result in the same arm postures. The aim of this study was to compare the predictions for arm kinematics by various models on human motor control with experimental data and to study the relation between kinematics and dynamics. Goal-directed arm movements were measured in 3-D space toward far and near targets. The results demonstrate that arm postures for a particular target depend on previous arm postures, contradicting Donders's law. The minimum-work and minimum-torque-change models, on the other hand, predict a much larger effect of initial posture than observed. These data suggest that both kinematics and dynamics affect postures and that their relative contribution might depend on instruction and task complexity.
Marjan A. Admiraal, Martijn J.M.A.M. Kusters and Stan C.A.M. Gielen
James G. Hay
There have been few attempts to synthesize the knowledge gleaned from the study of cyclic human locomotion and, specifically, to determine whether there are general laws that describe or govern all such forms of locomotion. The purpose of this paper was to test the hypothesis that, when a human participant performs multiple trials of a given form of cyclic locomotion at a wide range of speeds (S) and without constraint on cycle rate (CR) or cycle length (CL), the relationships of CR vs. S and CL vs. S have the same basic characteristics as do those for any other form of cyclic locomotion. Data were gathered from published and unpublished sources. For each participant and form of locomotion, CR-vs.-S and CL-vs.-S relationships were plotted on a common scattergram with S on the abscissa and both CR and CL on the ordinate. Analysis of data collected on 49 participants and 12 forms of locomotion showed that, for every combination of participant and form of locomotion considered (excluding combinations involving simulated locomotion), the relationships of CR vs. S and CL vs. S had the same basic characteristics. These relationships were quadratic in form with CR-vs.-S concave upward and CL-vs.-S concave downward. The factor that made the greater contribution to increases in S was a function of S, with CL the primary factor at low S and CR the primary factor at high S. In short, the results obtained provided unequivocal support for the hypothesis of the study. The basic CR-vs.-S and CL-vs.-S relationships observed for forms of actual locomotion were also observed for some, but not all, of the forms of simulated locomotion examined.
Taija Finni and Paavo V. Komi
During dynamic activities it is difficult to assess in vivo length changes in human tendon and aponeurosis. The present study compared the outcome of two methods during unilateral squat jump and drop jump performances of four volunteers. Tendinous tissue elongation of vastus lateralis muscle was estimated using either (a) direct measurement of in vivo fascicle length change and muscletendon length estimation (kinematic method), or (b) prediction using a quadratic force function in combination with direct tendon force measurement (force method). In the kinematic method the most critical measures contributing to the 10% uncertainty were the fascicle angle and fraction of the estimated fascicle length. The force method was most sensitive to resting length, with 1% error margin. Both methods predicted the same pattern of tendinous elongation because of the monotonic force/length relationship. The magnitude of length change, however, differed considerably between both methods. Based on the force method, the changes were only 20% (absolute values) or 30% (strain values) of those obtained with the kinematic method. On average, the maximum strains were 5% with the force method and 15% with the kinematic method. This difference can be explained by the fact that the kinematic method characterizes not only the changes in tendon length but also includes aponeurosis strain along the muscle belly. In addition, the kinematic method may be affected by non-uniform distribution of fascicle length change along the length of the muscle. When applying either method for estimating the patterns of tendon and tendinous tissue length changes during human locomotion, the given methodological considerations should be acknowledged.
Joel A. Vilensky and Sid Gilman
From the late 1800s until approximately the middle of the 20th century, neurosurgeons made discrete motor cortex lesions in humans in attempts to reduce or eliminate a variety of involuntary movements, resulting mainly from epilepsy. In some cases, the neurosurgeons tested and recorded their patients' ability to perform various movements and to perceive various types of sensory stimuli after the operation. Although these studies have been largely forgotten, they have an immense advantage over primate lesion studies for understanding the function of the motor cortex because the patients were able to attempt to perform complex movements upon request, and to describe their perceptions of cutaneous stimuli, including integrated sensations (e.g., recognition of objects by palpation alone). We provide here a table containing the results of these studies pertaining to sensory deficits. The most consistent and persistent sensory deficits reported relate to object recognition and position sense. This finding is in keeping with recent electrophysiological studies in primates. Our analysis suggests that the “motor” cortex serves important sensory functions; hence, the term sensorimotor cortex, remains appropriate for the primate precentral (and postcentral) cortex.
Chip Wade and Mark S. Redfern
Locomotion over ballast surfaces provides a unique situation for investigating the biomechanics of gait. Although much research has focused on level and sloped walking on a smooth, firm surface in order to understand the common kinematic and kinetic variables associated with human locomotion, the literature currently provides few if any discussions regarding the dynamics of locomotion on surfaces that are either rocky or uneven. The purpose of this study was to investigate a method for using force plates to measure the ground reaction forces (GRFs) during gait on ballast. Ballast is a construction aggregate of unsymmetrical rock used in industry for the purpose of forming track bed on which railway ties are laid or in yards where railroad cars are stored. It is used to facilitate the drainage of water and to create even running surfaces. To construct the experimental ballast surfaces, 31.75-mm (1¼-in.) marble ballast at depths of approximately 63.5 mm (2.5 in.) or 101.6 mm (4 in.) were spread over a carpeted vinyl tile walkway specially designed for gait studies. GRF magnitudes and time histories from a force plate were collected under normal smooth surface and under both ballast surface conditions for five subjects. GRF magnitudes and time histories during smooth surface walking were similar to GRF magnitudes and time histories from the two ballast surface conditions. The data presented here demonstrate the feasibility of using a force plate system to expand the scope of biomechanical analyses of locomotion on ballast surfaces.
Lawrence E. Armstrong, Amy C. Pumerantz, Kelly A. Fiala, Melissa W. Roti, Stavros A. Kavouras, Douglas J. Casa and Carl M. Maresh
It is difficult to describe hydration status and hydration extremes because fluid intakes and excretion patterns of free-living individuals are poorly documented and regulation of human water balance is complex and dynamic. This investigation provided reference values for euhydration (i.e., body mass, daily fluid intake, serum osmolality; M ± SD); it also compared urinary indices in initial morning samples and 24-hr collections. Five observations of 59 healthy, active men (age 22 ± 3 yr, body mass 75.1 ± 7.9 kg) occurred during a 12-d period. Participants maintained detailed records of daily food and fluid intake and exercise. Results indicated that the mean total fluid intake in beverages, pure water, and solid foods was >2.1 L/24 hr (range 1.382–3.261, 95% confidence interval 0.970–3.778 L/24 hr); mean urine volume was >1.3 L/24 hr (0.875–2.250 and 0.675–3.000 L/24 hr); mean urine specific gravity was >1.018 (1.011–1.027 and 1.009–1.030); and mean urine color was ≥4 (4–6 and 2–7). However, these men rarely (0–2% of measurements) achieved a urine specific gravity below 1.010 or color of 1. The first morning urine sample was more concentrated than the 24-h urine collection, likely because fluids were not consumed overnight. Furthermore, urine specific gravity and osmolality were strongly correlated (r2 = .81–.91, p < .001) in both morning and 24-hr collections. These findings provide euhydration reference values and hydration extremes for 7 commonly used indices in free-living, healthy, active men who were not exercising in a hot environment or training strenuously.
Bruno G.G. da Costa, Kelly S. da Silva, Rafael M. da Costa, Edio L. Petroski, Isabela C. Back, Paulo H.A. Guerra and Luiz R.A. de Lima
, owing to chronic diseases, vulnerable children and adolescents are at risk of high SB and cardiometabolic abnormalities ( 16 , 31 ). Children and adolescents living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may experience impairments as a result of the HIV infection and the adverse effects of drugs like
Katie A. Conway, Randall G. Bissette and Jason R. Franz
Peak ankle moment and power generation during the push-off phase of human walking contribute to leg swing initiation and forward acceleration of the body’s center of mass, thereby playing a pivotal role in regulating step lengths and walking speeds. 1 Unfortunately, aging and many gait pathologies
Edited by Mark Latash
It is suggested that the famous problem of motor redundancy is inapplicable to human voluntary movements. Such notions as “the elimination of biomechanical degrees of freedom” should not be used in human movement studies. During natural movements, elements within apparently redundant sets are all involved in solving motor tasks. The abundance of elements is a keystone forming the foundation of motor synergies. It allows natural movements to display both flexibility and stability.
Joel A. Vilensky and Brian L. O'Connor
In this paper we review the literature on stepping in nonhuman and human primates with complete transection of the spinal cord and consider these data relative to the principle of “encephalization” of motor functions with ascension in phylogeny. We conclude that techniques useful for producing self-generated stepping behavior in nonprimates with complete spinal cord transection may not be successful in humans and other higher primates with complete transection.