Modular organization of motor behavior

E. Bizzi*, P. Saltiel, M. Tresch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The issue of translating the planning of arm movements into muscle forces is discussed in relation to the recent discovery of structures in the spinal cord. These structures contain circuitry that, when activated, produce precisely balanced contractions in groups of muscles. These synergistic contractions generate forces that direct the limb toward an equilibrium point in space. Remarkably, the force outputs, produced by activating different spinal-cord structures, sum vectorially. This vectorial combination of motor outputs might be a mechanism for producing a vast repertoire of motor behaviors in a simple manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1998


  • Convergent Force Field (CFF)
  • Modules
  • Muscle Synergies
  • Spinal Cord
  • Spinal Interneurons
  • Vector Summation of CFF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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