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Open AccessArticle

Neuromechanical Model of Rat Hindlimb Walking with Two-Layer CPGs

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Erbertstr. 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97207, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This article is an extended version of our paper published in Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Volume 10928, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2018, Paris, France, 17–20 July 2018; Vouloutsi, V., Halloy, J., Mura, A., Mangan, M., Lepora, N., Prescott, T.J., Verschure, P.F.M.J., Eds. Springer Nature: 2018; Paper No. 15, pp. 134–144.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 21;
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from Living Machines 2018)
This work demonstrates a neuromechanical model of rat hindlimb locomotion undergoing nominal walking with perturbations. In the animal, two types of responses to perturbations are observed: resetting and non-resetting deletions. This suggests that the animal locomotor system contains a memory-like organization. To model this phenomenon, we built a synthetic nervous system that uses separate rhythm generator and pattern formation layers to activate antagonistic muscle pairs about each joint in the sagittal plane. Our model replicates the resetting and non-resetting deletions observed in the animal. In addition, in the intact (i.e., fully afferented) rat walking simulation, we observe slower recovery after perturbation, which is different from the deafferented animal experiment. These results demonstrate that our model is a biologically feasible description of some of the neural circuits in the mammalian spinal cord that control locomotion, and the difference between our simulation and fictive motion shows the importance of sensory feedback on motor output. This model also demonstrates how the pattern formation network can activate muscle synergies in a coordinated way to produce stable walking, which motivates the use of more complex synergies activating more muscles in the legs for three-dimensional limb motion. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic nervous system; rat; rhythm generator; pattern formation; muscle synergies synthetic nervous system; rat; rhythm generator; pattern formation; muscle synergies
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Deng, K.; Szczecinski, N.S.; Arnold, D.; Andrada, E.; Fischer, M.S.; Quinn, R.D.; Hunt, A.J. Neuromechanical Model of Rat Hindlimb Walking with Two-Layer CPGs. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 21.

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