About this Research Topic
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.
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