Nature of Motor Control: Perspectives and Issues

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Abstract

Four perspectives on motor control provide the framework for developing a comprehensive theory of motor control in biological systems. The four perspectives, of decreasing orthodoxy, are distinguished by their sources of inspiration: neuroanatomy, robotics, self-organization, and ecological realities. Twelve major issues that commonly constrain (either explicitly or implicitly) the understanding of the control and coordination of movement are identified and evaluated within the framework of the four perspectives. The issues are as follows: (1) Is control strictly neural? (2) Is there a divide between planning and execution? (3) Does control entail a frequently involved knowledgeable executive? (4) Do analytical internal models mediate control? (5) Is anticipation necessarily model dependent? (6) Are movements preassembled? (7) Are the participating components context independent? (8) Is force transmission strictly myotendinous? (9) Is afference a matter of local linear signaling? (10) Is neural noise an impediment? (11) Do standard variables (of mechanics and physiology) suffice? (12) Is the organization of control hierarchical?