Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):723-744 (1995)

A hypothesis about sensorimotor integration is described and applied to movement control and kinesthesia. The central idea is that the nervous system organizes positional frames of reference for the sensorimotor apparatus and produces active movements by shifting the frames in terms of spatial coordinates. Kinematic and electromyographic patterns are not programmed, but emerge from the dynamic interaction among the system s components, including external forces within the designated frame of reference. Motoneuronal threshold properties and proprioceptive inputs to motoneurons may be cardinal components of the physiological mechanism that produces positional frames of reference. The hypothesis that intentional movements are produced by shifting the frame of reference is extended to multi-muscle and multi-degrees-of-freedom systems with a solution of the redundancy problem that allows the control of a joint alone or in combination with other joints to produce any desired limb configuration and movement trajectory. The model also implies that for each motor behavior, the nervous system uses a strategy that minimizes the number of changeable control variables and keeps the parameters of these changes invariant. Examples are provided of simulated kinematic and electromyographic signals from single- and multi-joint arm movements produced by suggested patterns of control variables. Empirical support is provided and additional tests of the model are suggested. The model is contrasted with others based on the ideas of programming of motoneuronal activity, muscle forces, stiffness, or movement kinematics.
Keywords control variables   equilibrium points   frames of reference   kinesthesis   motoneurons   motor control   multi-muscle systems   pointing   proprioception   redundancy problem   synergy
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0140525x0004070x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 58,880
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.Marc H. Bornstein - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (2):203-206.
A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action.David Morris, E. Thelen & L. B. Smith - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2).

View all 38 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How to Demarcate the Boundaries of Cognition.David Michael Kaplan - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):545-570.
Can Robots Make Good Models of Biological Behaviour?Barbara Webb - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1033-1050.

View all 47 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Shifting Frames of Reference but the Same Old Point of View.Gerald L. Gottlieb - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):758-758.
Kinematic Models Cannot Provide Insight Into Motor Control.Arnold B. Mitnitski - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (2):318-319.
Computational Motor Planning and the Theory of Event Coding.David A. Rosenbaum - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):902-903.
Control Consciousness.Pete Mandik - 2010 - Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4):643-657.


Added to PP index

Total views
34 ( #307,829 of 2,426,357 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #542,164 of 2,426,357 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes