Research Topic

Neural and Computational Modeling of Movement Control

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is cross-listed in Frontiers in Neuroscience Section Neurorobotics
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This Research Topic is cross-listed in Frontiers in Neuroscience Section Neurorobotics

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.

Articles in the following areas of research are of particular relevance to this research topic: (1) proprioceptive signaling of movements, (2) descending and proprioceptive control of locomotion, (3) descending and propriospinal neuronal control of reaching and grasp, (4) neuronal mechanisms that coordinate muscles during movement, (5) cortical and spinal mechanisms of movement control, (6) biomimetic control of robotic devices and functional electrical stimulation (FES), (7) neuromechanical modeling of movement, and (8) neurorehabilitation of movement control.


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