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We review the current views on the control and coordination of movements following the traditions set by Nikolai Bernstein. In particular, we focus on the theory of neural control of effectors - from motor units to individual muscles, to joints, limbs, and to the whole body - with spatial referent coordinates organized into a hierarchy with multiple few-to-many mappings. Further, we discuss synergies ensuring stability of natural human movements within the uncontrolled manifold hypothesis. Synergies are organized within the neural control hierarchy based on the principle of motor abundance. Movement disorders are discussed as consequences of an inability to use the whole range of changes in referent coordinates (as in spasticity) and an inability to ensure controlled stability of salient variables as reflected in indices of multi-element synergies and their adjustments in preparation to actions (as in brain disorders, including Parkinson's disease, multiple-system atrophy, and stroke). At the end of the review, we discuss possible implications of this theoretical approach to peripheral disorders and their rehabilitations using, as an example, osteoarthritis. In particular, "joint stiffening" is viewed as a maladaptive strategy, which can compromise stability of salient variables during walking. 2022, JAPANESE PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION.


Mark L Latash, Momoko Yamagata. Recent Advances in the Neural Control of Movements: Lessons for Functional Recovery. Physical therapy research. 2022;25(1):1-11

PMID: 35582118

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