2020-10Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/23243
Lower complexity of motor primitives ensures robust control of high-speed human locomotion
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Walking and running are mechanically and energetically different locomotion modes. For selecting one or another, speed is a parameter of paramount importance. Yet, both are likely controlled by similar low-dimensional neuronal networks that reflect in patterned muscle activations called muscle synergies. Here, we challenged human locomotion by having our participants walk and run at a very broad spectrum of submaximal and maximal speeds. The synergistic activations of lower limb locomotor muscles were obtained through decomposition of electromyographic data via non-negative matrix factorization. We analyzed the duration and complexity (via fractal analysis) over time of motor primitives, the temporal components of muscle synergies. We found that the motor control of high-speed locomotion was so challenging that the neuromotor system was forced to produce wider and less complex muscle activation patterns. The motor modules, or time-independent coefficients, were redistributed as locomotion speed changed. These outcomes show that humans cope with the challenges of high-speed locomotion by adapting the neuromotor dynamics through a set of strategies that allow for efficient creation and control of locomotion.
Files in this item
This article was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.