Minimum Muscle-Tension Change Trajectories Predicted by Using a 17-Muscle Model of the Monkey's Arm

J Mot Behav. 1996 Jun;28(2):83-100. doi: 10.1080/00222895.1996.9941736.


Four computational problems to be solved for visually guided reaching movements, hand path, and trajectory formations, coordinate transformation, and calculations of muscle tensions are ill-posed in redundant biological control systems. These problems are ill-posed in the sense that there exist an infinite number of possible solutions. In this article, it is shown that the nervous system can solve those problems simultaneously by imposing a single global constraint: finding the smoothest muscle- tension trajectory that satisfies the desired final hand position, velocity, and acceleration. Horizontal trajectories were simulated by using a l7-muscle model of the monkey's arm as the controlled object. The simulations predicted gently curved hand paths for lateral hand movements and for movements from the side of the body to the front, and a roughly straight hand path for anterioposterior movements. The tangential hand velocities were roughly bell shaped. The simulated results were in agreement with the actual biological movements.