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Towards an Understanding of Control of Complex Rhythmical “Wavelike” Coordination in Humans

1
School of Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The Universirty of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
2
Department of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(4), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10040215
Received: 21 February 2020 / Revised: 28 March 2020 / Accepted: 2 April 2020 / Published: 5 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rhythmic Motor Pattern Generation)
How does the human neurophysiological system self-organize to achieve optimal phase relationships among joints and limbs, such as in the composite rhythms of butterfly and front crawl swimming, drumming, or dancing? We conducted a systematic review of literature relating to central nervous system (CNS) control of phase among joint/limbs in continuous rhythmic activities. SCOPUS and Web of Science were searched using keywords “Phase AND Rhythm AND Coordination”. This yielded 1039 matches from which 23 papers were extracted for inclusion based on screening criteria. The empirical evidence arising from in-vivo, fictive, in-vitro, and modelling of neural control in humans, other species, and robots indicates that the control of movement is facilitated and simplified by innervating muscle synergies by way of spinal central pattern generators (CPGs). These typically behave like oscillators enabling stable repetition across cycles of movements. This approach provides a foundation to guide the design of empirical research in human swimming and other limb independent activities. For example, future research could be conducted to explore whether the Saltiel two-layer CPG model to explain locomotion in cats might also explain the complex relationships among the cyclical motions in human swimming. View Full-Text
Keywords: CPG; swimming; butterfly style; freestyle; coordination; body wave; phase; rhythm; motor control; CNS CPG; swimming; butterfly style; freestyle; coordination; body wave; phase; rhythm; motor control; CNS
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Sanders, R.H.; Levitin, D.J. Towards an Understanding of Control of Complex Rhythmical “Wavelike” Coordination in Humans. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 215.

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