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Front Comput Neurosci. 2013 Apr 29;7:51. doi: 10.3389/fncom.2013.00051. eCollection 2013.

The neural origin of muscle synergies.

Author information

1
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA, USA.

Abstract

Muscle synergies are neural coordinative structures that function to alleviate the computational burden associated with the control of movement and posture. In this commentary, we address two critical questions: the explicit encoding of muscle synergies in the nervous system, and how muscle synergies simplify movement production. We argue that shared and task-specific muscle synergies are neurophysiological entities whose combination, orchestrated by the motor cortical areas and the afferent systems, facilitates motor control and motor learning.

KEYWORDS:

motor cortex; motor modules; motor primitive; non-negative matrix factorization; spinal interneurons

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