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Normalized Index of Synergy for Evaluating the Coordination of Motor Commands.

Togo S, Imamizu H - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that a large part of the change in the coordination of motor outputs through learning was because of changes in motor commands.In a motor learning task, subjects tracked a target trajectory of the total torque.We conclude that the normalized index of synergy can be used to evaluate the coordination of motor commands independently from the properties of the musculoskeletal system.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Mechanisms Laboratories, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Kyoto, Japan; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Humans perform various motor tasks by coordinating the redundant motor elements in their bodies. The coordination of motor outputs is produced by motor commands, as well properties of the musculoskeletal system. The aim of this study was to dissociate the coordination of motor commands from motor outputs. First, we conducted simulation experiments where the total elbow torque was generated by a model of a simple human right and left elbow with redundant muscles. The results demonstrated that muscle tension with signal-dependent noise formed a coordinated structure of trial-to-trial variability of muscle tension. Therefore, the removal of signal-dependent noise effects was required to evaluate the coordination of motor commands. We proposed a method to evaluate the coordination of motor commands, which removed signal-dependent noise from the measured variability of muscle tension. We used uncontrolled manifold analysis to calculate a normalized index of synergy. Simulation experiments confirmed that the proposed method could appropriately represent the coordinated structure of the variability of motor commands. We also conducted experiments in which subjects performed the same task as in the simulation experiments. The normalized index of synergy revealed that the subjects coordinated their motor commands to achieve the task. Finally, the normalized index of synergy was applied to a motor learning task to determine the utility of the proposed method. We hypothesized that a large part of the change in the coordination of motor outputs through learning was because of changes in motor commands. In a motor learning task, subjects tracked a target trajectory of the total torque. The change in the coordination of muscle tension through learning was dominated by that of motor commands, which supported the hypothesis. We conclude that the normalized index of synergy can be used to evaluate the coordination of motor commands independently from the properties of the musculoskeletal system.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Concept of coordination of motor commands.(a) The simulation experiment shows that signal-dependent noise in the muscle contributes to the coordination of motor outputs. We propose a method that removes the effects of the musculoskeletal system for the assessment of the coordination of motor commands. (b) The simulation experiment validates our proposed method. (c) To show the coordination of motor commands of human subjects, the proposed method is applied to the measurement experiment in which the subjects perform the same task as the simulation experiment. (d) To empirically validate the proposed method, it is applied to the measurement experiment of the learning task.
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pone.0140836.g001: Concept of coordination of motor commands.(a) The simulation experiment shows that signal-dependent noise in the muscle contributes to the coordination of motor outputs. We propose a method that removes the effects of the musculoskeletal system for the assessment of the coordination of motor commands. (b) The simulation experiment validates our proposed method. (c) To show the coordination of motor commands of human subjects, the proposed method is applied to the measurement experiment in which the subjects perform the same task as the simulation experiment. (d) To empirically validate the proposed method, it is applied to the measurement experiment of the learning task.

Mentions: Because the coordination of movements is defined by the variability of motor outputs, we consider signal-dependent noise (SDN) in the musculoskeletal system that affects the variability of motor outputs [5]. SDN in a muscle is when the standard deviation of the muscle tension linearly increases with the mean muscle tension magnitude [6–7]. The degree of variability of the muscle (the coefficient of variation) is different among body parts [8]. When muscle tensions are considered as motor elements, the difference in the degree of variability of muscle tensions forms a distribution of trial-by-trial variability of the motor elements that expands toward a specific direction in the space of motor elements. Therefore, this difference in degree of variability in each muscle could be the cause of synergies between motor elements. In this study, we first demonstrate using simulation experiments that the variability of muscle tensions due to SDN underlies the formation of synergies (Fig 1A).


Normalized Index of Synergy for Evaluating the Coordination of Motor Commands.

Togo S, Imamizu H - PLoS ONE (2015)

Concept of coordination of motor commands.(a) The simulation experiment shows that signal-dependent noise in the muscle contributes to the coordination of motor outputs. We propose a method that removes the effects of the musculoskeletal system for the assessment of the coordination of motor commands. (b) The simulation experiment validates our proposed method. (c) To show the coordination of motor commands of human subjects, the proposed method is applied to the measurement experiment in which the subjects perform the same task as the simulation experiment. (d) To empirically validate the proposed method, it is applied to the measurement experiment of the learning task.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4608756&req=5

pone.0140836.g001: Concept of coordination of motor commands.(a) The simulation experiment shows that signal-dependent noise in the muscle contributes to the coordination of motor outputs. We propose a method that removes the effects of the musculoskeletal system for the assessment of the coordination of motor commands. (b) The simulation experiment validates our proposed method. (c) To show the coordination of motor commands of human subjects, the proposed method is applied to the measurement experiment in which the subjects perform the same task as the simulation experiment. (d) To empirically validate the proposed method, it is applied to the measurement experiment of the learning task.
Mentions: Because the coordination of movements is defined by the variability of motor outputs, we consider signal-dependent noise (SDN) in the musculoskeletal system that affects the variability of motor outputs [5]. SDN in a muscle is when the standard deviation of the muscle tension linearly increases with the mean muscle tension magnitude [6–7]. The degree of variability of the muscle (the coefficient of variation) is different among body parts [8]. When muscle tensions are considered as motor elements, the difference in the degree of variability of muscle tensions forms a distribution of trial-by-trial variability of the motor elements that expands toward a specific direction in the space of motor elements. Therefore, this difference in degree of variability in each muscle could be the cause of synergies between motor elements. In this study, we first demonstrate using simulation experiments that the variability of muscle tensions due to SDN underlies the formation of synergies (Fig 1A).

Bottom Line: We hypothesized that a large part of the change in the coordination of motor outputs through learning was because of changes in motor commands.In a motor learning task, subjects tracked a target trajectory of the total torque.We conclude that the normalized index of synergy can be used to evaluate the coordination of motor commands independently from the properties of the musculoskeletal system.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Mechanisms Laboratories, Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International, Kyoto, Japan; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan.

ABSTRACT
Humans perform various motor tasks by coordinating the redundant motor elements in their bodies. The coordination of motor outputs is produced by motor commands, as well properties of the musculoskeletal system. The aim of this study was to dissociate the coordination of motor commands from motor outputs. First, we conducted simulation experiments where the total elbow torque was generated by a model of a simple human right and left elbow with redundant muscles. The results demonstrated that muscle tension with signal-dependent noise formed a coordinated structure of trial-to-trial variability of muscle tension. Therefore, the removal of signal-dependent noise effects was required to evaluate the coordination of motor commands. We proposed a method to evaluate the coordination of motor commands, which removed signal-dependent noise from the measured variability of muscle tension. We used uncontrolled manifold analysis to calculate a normalized index of synergy. Simulation experiments confirmed that the proposed method could appropriately represent the coordinated structure of the variability of motor commands. We also conducted experiments in which subjects performed the same task as in the simulation experiments. The normalized index of synergy revealed that the subjects coordinated their motor commands to achieve the task. Finally, the normalized index of synergy was applied to a motor learning task to determine the utility of the proposed method. We hypothesized that a large part of the change in the coordination of motor outputs through learning was because of changes in motor commands. In a motor learning task, subjects tracked a target trajectory of the total torque. The change in the coordination of muscle tension through learning was dominated by that of motor commands, which supported the hypothesis. We conclude that the normalized index of synergy can be used to evaluate the coordination of motor commands independently from the properties of the musculoskeletal system.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus