Special Issue "Variability in Human Motor Control"

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Biophysics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Olivier White
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université de Bourgogne INSERM-U1093 Cognition, Action, and Sensorimotor Plasticity, Campus Universitaire, BP 27877, 21078 Dijon, France
Interests: motor control and learning; behavioural neuroscience; dexterous manipulation; upper limb movements; bimanual control; internal models; motor imagery; eye movements; perception; cognitive psychology; altered gravity; robotics; fractal analysis; fMRI; virtual reality; haptics
Dr. Fabien Buisseret
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. CeREF, Chaussée de Binche 159, 7000 Mons, Belgium
2. Service de Physique Nucléaire et Subnucléaire, Université de Mons, UMONS Research Institute for Complex Systems, 20 Place du Parc, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Interests: theoretical physics; hadrons; mechanics; fractal analysis; motion analysis; kinematics; modelling complex systems; biomechanics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Frédéric Dierick
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centre National de Rééducation Fonctionnelle et de Réadaptation – Rehazenter, Laboratoire d'Analyse du Mouvement et de la Posture(LAMP), Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Interests: rehabilitation; ergonomy; kinesytherapy; gait analysis
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Prof. Dr. Nandu Goswami
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Division of Physiology, Otto Loewi Research Center for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation, Medical University of Graz, Auenbruggerpl. 2, 8036 Graz, Austria
Interests: cardiovascular system; heart rate variability; gravitational adaptation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Evolution has shaped the way in which human beings move. Our ability to learn and perform a wide range of actions has a tremendous impact on daily life. This has opened numerous lines of research and development in the broad areas of medicine, rehabilitation, and sports, but also engineering, robotics, and artificial intelligence. How does the brain control the extremely complex machinery that is our body?

The human body is an overly redundant system. On the one hand, from mathematical and mechanical points of view, it is difficult to control. On the other hand, it is flexible. The central nervous system chooses the unique action among an infinite repertoire through an optimization process in which biomechanical and environmental parameters are considered. As a product of evolution, the brain has learned to integrate this effect of the ubiquitous presence of gravity to move more efficiently. It does not actually see gravity as a perturbation, but as an ally.

Unlike artificial systems, natural actions are characterized by the presence of variability: movements of the finger between two targets, although stereotyped, will never follow exactly the same path. Exactly like gravity, these uncertainties are intrinsically present in the whole decision–action chain, from action planning to motoneurons. This noise has always been considered detrimental, as it reduces performance. What if, like gravity, the brain developed strategies to exploit variability at its advantage? Recent advances inherited from fields outside of the life sciences have highlighted the importance of noise in human motor control. For instance, stochastic resonance and differential learning enhance the performance and generalization of motor skills. Fundamental concepts such as nonlinear time series analysis, fractals, and chaos are very promising tools that could help to decrypt how the brain makes uncertainties speak for themselves.

In this Special Issue titled “Variability in Human Motor Control”, contributions of the latest findings in this area are solicited. The wide scope includes human or animal motor control, biomechanics, rehabilitation, robotics, and movement science. We welcome the contribution of articles of clinical utility or theoretical investigations, including the development of new mathematical or physical tools. One of the aim of the topic is to demonstrate the real added value of multidisciplinary approaches to understand the functional role of noise in the organism. The submission of manuscripts in line with that philosophy are therefore strongly encouraged. We hope that this Special Issue will provide an opportunity to share the state-of-the-art findings in this fascinating area.

Dr. Olivier White
Dr. Fabien Buisseret
Dr. Frédéric Dierick
Prof. Dr. Nandu Goswami
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biology is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • motor control
  • variability
  • fractals
  • mathematical modeling

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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