Dana Ballard - "A new look at human motor control"

Wednesday, 12 September, 2012 - 09:30 to 11:00

Recording of the speaker's talk at the Barcelona Brain and Technology Summer School, September 2012. Listen also to an interview with this and other speakers at www.csnetwork.eu/podcast and find even more on these topics at www.csnetwork.eu

"Modeling the generation of human movement can be extraordinarily difficult owing to the complexity of the underlying musculoskeletal system. The dynamics equations are non-linear and have many degrees of freedom, making them all but intractable to solve directly. We show that this system can be greatly simplified if its movements are modeled as a set of basis movements that can be adapted to varying conditions. We show that the command torques for such movements can be read out by a dynamic model that is constrained to follow human movements as measured by a motion capture system. The resultant torques can be replayed in the model to reproduce the original movements provided they are augmented by linear stabilizing terms. The resultant system provides a novel method of modeling human dynamics and suggests a novel way of formulating and solving the general problem of controlling human movement."