Slacking by the human motor system: computational models and implications for robotic orthoses.

David J. Reinkensmeyer*, O. Akoner, Daniel P. Ferris, Keith E. Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent experimental evidence suggests that a fundamental property of the human motor system is that it "slacks"; that is, that it continuously attempts to decrease levels of muscle activation when movement error is small during repetitive motions. This paper reviews several computational models of slacking, and discusses implications of slacking for the design of robotic orthoses. For therapeutic applications of robotic orthoses, slacking may reduce human effort during rehabilitation training, with negative consequences for use-dependent motor recovery. For assistive applications of robotic orthoses, slacking may allow the motor system to learn to take advantage of force amplification provided by an orthosis, with positive consequences for human energy efficiency.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics

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