Analysis of the synergies underlying complex hand manipulation

E. Todorov, Z. Ghahramani
The 26th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society  
Coupling of actuators into motor synergies has been observed repeatedly, and is traditionally interpreted as a strategy for simplifying complex coordination problems. This view implies a small number of task-independent synergies. We have shown that optimal feedback control also gives rise to synergies in the absence of any simplification; the structure and number of such optimal synergies depends on the task. To compare these hypotheses, we recorded hand postures from a range of complex
more » ... ation task. The structure of the synergies we extracted (via PCA) was task-dependent, and their number significantly exceeded previous observations in a simpler grasping task. Our results lend support to an optimal control explanation rather than a "simplicity" explanation.
doi:10.1109/iembs.2004.1404285 pmid:17271341 fatcat:ei4gboaoezhftpvyxwg7mnydc4