Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 201–216 | Cite as

Contributions of phase resetting and interlimb coordination to the adaptive control of hindlimb obstacle avoidance during locomotion in rats: a simulation study

  • Shinya AoiEmail author
  • Takahiro Kondo
  • Naohiro Hayashi
  • Dai Yanagihara
  • Sho Aoki
  • Hiroshi Yamaura
  • Naomichi Ogihara
  • Tetsuro Funato
  • Nozomi Tomita
  • Kei Senda
  • Kazuo Tsuchiya
Original Paper


Obstacle avoidance during locomotion is essential for safe, smooth locomotion. Physiological studies regarding muscle synergy have shown that the combination of a small number of basic patterns produces the large part of muscle activities during locomotion and the addition of another pattern explains muscle activities for obstacle avoidance. Furthermore, central pattern generators in the spinal cord are thought to manage the timing to produce such basic patterns. In the present study, we investigated sensory-motor coordination for obstacle avoidance by the hindlimbs of the rat using a neuromusculoskeletal model. We constructed the musculoskeletal part of the model based on empirical anatomical data of the rat and the nervous system model based on the aforementioned physiological findings of central pattern generators and muscle synergy. To verify the dynamic simulation by the constructed model, we compared the simulation results with kinematic and electromyographic data measured during actual locomotion in rats. In addition, we incorporated sensory regulation models based on physiological evidence of phase resetting and interlimb coordination and examined their functional roles in stepping over an obstacle during locomotion. Our results show that the phase regulation based on interlimb coordination contributes to stepping over a higher obstacle and that based on phase resetting contributes to quick recovery after stepping over the obstacle. These results suggest the importance of sensory regulation in generating successful obstacle avoidance during locomotion.


Rat Locomotion Obstacle avoidance Neuromusculoskeletal model Central pattern generator Muscle synergy Phase resetting Interlimb coordination 



This paper is supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 23360111 and a Grant-in-Aid for Creative Scientific Research No. 19GS0208 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shinya Aoi
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Takahiro Kondo
    • 1
  • Naohiro Hayashi
    • 1
  • Dai Yanagihara
    • 2
    • 6
  • Sho Aoki
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Yamaura
    • 2
  • Naomichi Ogihara
    • 3
    • 6
  • Tetsuro Funato
    • 4
  • Nozomi Tomita
    • 5
    • 6
  • Kei Senda
    • 1
  • Kazuo Tsuchiya
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Graduate School of EngineeringKyoto UniversitySakyo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoMeguro-kuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and TechnologyKeio UniversityKohoku-kuJapan
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Science, Graduate School of EngineeringKyoto UniversitySakyo-kuJapan
  5. 5.Department of Energy and Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and EngineeringDoshisha UniversityKyotanabeJapan
  6. 6.JST, CRESTChiyoda-kuJapan

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