Referent control of action and perception: Challenging conventional theories in behavioral neuroscience

Referent control of action and perception: Challenging conventional theories in behavioral neuroscience

by Anatol G. Feldman


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Referent control of action and perception: Challenging conventional theories in behavioral neuroscience by Anatol G. Feldman

Empirical data on neural control of motor action and perception have not yet been put into the context of a coherent theory. Dr. Feldman's goal for the proposed book is to illustrate that the field is now at a stage where the data can be used to formulate some core principles that underlie action and perception and to present the foundation of a scientific theory of motor control. Dr. Feldmanis a well-known expert and has been active in the field for a long time. In the proposed book he will outline an approach to the analysis of action and perception that he and his colleagues have been using for the past 50 years or so. His theoretical approach will not only help to explain past empirical research, but should also help to inform and provide a structure for future empirical studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493927357
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 06/18/2015
Edition description: 2015
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dr. Anatol Feldman is one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists in the area of motor control. His work has had a strong and sustained influence in behavioral neuroscience since the 1960’s when he published a unique theory of motor control, called the equilibrium-point hypothesis He has been a professor in the Department of Physiology (now Neuroscience) at the University of Montreal since 1990. After having been denied the right to travel out of the USSR for 25 years, he was granted permission to attend a neuroscience meeting as a distinguished Keynote Speaker in Ontario in 1988. He returned to Canada as a visiting professor at McGill University in 1989. In 1997, he joined the Centre de recherche en sciences neurologiques (CRSN) in the Department of Neuroscience at the Université de Montréal. His laboratories are affiliated with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal (CRIR). He is the first recipient of the Nicolai Bernstein award from the International Society of Motor Control.

Table of Contents

Preamble: The meaning of the term referent control

Chapter 1. Running away from KGB informers to neuroscience

1.1 Switching from physics to neuroscience

1.2 Moscow Biological School

Chapter 2. Action and perception in the context of physical laws

2.1 The purpose of scientific inquiry about action and perception

2.2 Harmonizing motor actions with physical laws

a. Law-constrained variables and parameters of physical laws

b. Harmonizing control of actions with physical laws

2.3 Parametric control of posture and movement

2.4 Remarkable features of parametric control

2.5 Questioning the validity of efference copy concept for motor control

2.6 A historically perpetuated error in thinking about how motor actions are controlled

2.7 Perception in the context of physical laws

Chapter 3. Referent control as a specific form of parametric control of actions: Empirical demonstrations

3.1 Earlier demonstrations of referent control in humans

3.2 Referent control of actions in animals

a. Control of spatial thresholds of reflexes: Matthews’ (1959) experiments

b. Descending brain systems control spatial thresholds for muscle activation

c. Neither central, nor afferent influences per se pre-determine motor commands to muscles

d. Is referent control compatible with results of deafferentation?

3.3 Referent control underlies both slow and fast movements

a. Threshold position resetting: A fundamental control principle underlying both slow and fast movements

b. Changes in the referent arm configuration underlie arm reaching movement

3.4 Shifts in the referent position of body segments result in motor action

3.5 Referent control of actions by the corticospinal system in humans

a. Intentional changes in the wrist joint angle

b. Corticospinal influences during the unloading reflex

3.6 The motoneuronal pool in the context of referent control

a. Spatial recruitment of motoneurons

b. The range of threshold position control

c. Muscle activation in dynamics

3.7 Neurological motor disorders resulting from deficits of referent control

3.8 Referent control of agonist and antagonist muscles

3.9 Other dynamic aspects of referent control

a. What comes first – muscle activation or shifts in the equilibrium point?

b. Gradual shifts in the equilibrium state: Importance for regulation of movement extent, speed, duration and rapid action sequences

c. Threshold control as an optimal control of actions.

3.10 Major departures from conventional views on motor control

a. Descending systems influence but do not pre-determine motor commands or kinematics.

b. The first clue to how the nervous system solves redundancy problems

Chapter 4. Physiological origin and feed-forward nature of referent control

4.1 Physiological origin of referent (threshold position) control

4.2 Taking advantage of feed-forward nature of referent control during motor learning

a. Feed-forward setting of spatial threshold in anticipation of perturbation (TMS studies)

b. Further implications of feed-forward nature of referent control

Chapter 5. Different forms of referent control

5.1 Physiological origin of multiple forms of referent control

a. The Basic Neurophysiological Rule

b. The referent body configuration

c. The referent coactivation command

d. The referent body location in the environment

e. The referent body orientation relative to gravity direction

f. Other forms of referent control

5.2 Referent control of motionless actions

a. Grip force production

b. Pushing against a wall

5.3 Referent control of movements

a. Vertical jumps

b. Sit-to-stand movements

5.4 Arm reaching movements

a. Referent, equilibrium and actual hand trajectories

b. Adaptation of reaching movements to gravity: A possible role of proprioception

c. Referent corrections of reaching movements: Feed-forward aspects

5.5 Referents as attributes of neuro-physical, rather than symbolic, frames of reference

a. Physical versus mathematical frames of reference

b. Transitions from one to another frame of reference

5.6 Optimality of actions in the context of referent control

5.7 Synergies in the context of referent control

5.8 Testing the principle of biomechanical correspondence

Chapter 6. Solutions to classical problems in the control of motor actions

6.1 Mechanical reductionism in behavioral neuroscience

6.2 The posture-movement problem

a. Converting posture-stabilizing to movement-producing mechanisms

b. Referent control of muscle coactivation in the context of the posture-movement relationship

6.3 Intentional choice of position or isometric torque

6.4 Central pattern generators in the context of referent control

a. A major problem of the existing CPG concept

b. Integration of central and afferent signals in normal conditions

c. Re-defining the CPG concept

d. Resetting of spatial thresholds versus gating of reflexes

e. Control of posture and gait may not rely on internal representations of the center of body mass or base of support

6.5 Sherrington’s versus Graham-Brown’s views on sensorimotor integration: A contest without a winner

6.6 The relationship between postural and gait stability

a. Human gait remains stable at every instance

b. Posture and movement are stabilized by common mechanisms

c. Referent control in the context of the dynamic systems theory

6.7 Testing some aspects of referent control of human gait

a. Permanent phase resetting of gait rhythm in response to perturbation

b. Minimization of activity of leg muscles at specific phases of gait

6.8 Referent control of body shape and swimming in lampreys

6.9 More about stability of posture and movement

a. Referent control ensures stability of posture and movement despite electromechanical and reflex delays

b. Typical errors in evaluations of stiffness and damping

c. Movement equifinality and its violations in the context of referent control

d. Effects of Coriolis force as evidence that no internal models of force fields are built during motor learning

Chapter 7. Redundancy problems

7.1 Fundamental role of the environment in solving redundancy problems

7.2 Multi-muscle control without redundancy problems

7.3 Control of reaching movements without redundancy problems

a. Possible neural basis of referent control of reaching

b. The minimization principle and rank-ordered timing of different forms of referent control involved in reaching

Reaching within arm’s reach

Reaching beyond arm’s reach

Reach-to-grasp movements

c. Other approaches to redundancy problems

7.4 From intention to action: The mapping problem, its solution and relation to redundancy problems

7.5 Visio-control mapping for locomotion

7.6 Learning, memory and physical properties of the environment in referent control

Chapter 8. Action-perception coupling

8.1 Position sense and sense of effort

a. Position sense rule

b. Position sense in different conditions

Involuntary changes in position (the unloading reflex).

Isotonic motion

Isometric torque production

Other motor actions

c. Kinesthetic illusions elicited by tendon vibration

d. Phantom limb phenomenon and mirror therapy for phantom limb pain

e. Kinesthetic illusions resulting from electrical brain stimulation (phantom person and awareness of motion)

f. Position sense and sense of effort

g. Predictive nature of the position sense rule

8.2 The referent body configuration as a basis for the body schema

8.3 Reaching different body spots in humans and spinal frogs

8.4 Information transmitted by ascending pathways to the brain

8.5 Referent control of eye movements

a. Referent control of gaze

b. Controversies about the existence of stretch reflexes in external ocular muscles

c. Referent control of pursuit and saccadic eye movements

Pursuit eye movements

Saccadic eye movements

Three-dimensional saccades

d. Questioning the feasibility of the pulse-step model for motor control

8.6 Visual constancy

8.7 Referent control of optomotor behaviors in insects

a. Referent control of body turns

b. The optomotor reflex

c. Self-initiated body turns

a. Visual constancy

Chapter 9. Afterword, major lessons and perspectives

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