CUED Publications database

Reflex contributions to the directional tuning of arm stiffness

Liaw, G and Franklin, DW and Burdet, E and Kadi-Allah, A and Kawato, M (2008) Reflex contributions to the directional tuning of arm stiffness. In: UNSPECIFIED UNSPECIFIED, pp. 913-922.

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It has been shown that during arm movement, humans selectively change the endpoint stiffness of their arm to compensate for the instability in an unstable environment. When the direction of the instability is rotated with respect to the direction of movement, it was found that humans modify the antisymmetric component of their endpoint stiffness. The antisymmetric component of stiffness arises due to reflex responses suggesting that the subjects may have tuned their reflex responses as part of the feedforward adaptive control. The goal of this study was to examine whether the CNS modulates the gain of the reflex response for selective tuning of endpoint impedance. Subjects performed reaching movements in three unstable force fields produced by a robotic manipulandum, each field differing only in the rotational component. After subjects had learned to compensate for the field, allowing them to make unperturbed movements to the target, the endpoint stiffness of the arm was estimated in the middle of the movements. At the same time electromyographic activity (EMG) of six arm muscles was recorded. Analysis of the EMG revealed differences across force fields in the reflex gain of these muscles consistent with stiffness changes. This study suggests that the CNS modulates the reflex gain as part of the adaptive feedforward command in which the endpoint impedance is selectively tuned to overcome environmental instability. © 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Div F > Computational and Biological Learning
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:46
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2017 03:15
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-69158-7_94