Dynamical origin of complex motor patterns
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Behavior emerges as the nervous system generates motor patterns in charge of driving a peripheral biomechanical device. For several cases in the animal kingdom, it has been identified that the motor patterns used in order to accomplish a diversity of tasks are the different solutions of a simple, low dimensional nonlinear dynamical system. Yet, motor patterns emerge from the interaction of an enormous number of individual dynamical units. In this work, we study the dynamics of the average activity of a large set of coupled excitable units which are periodically forced. We show that low dimensional, yet non trivial dynamics emerges. As a case study, we analyze the air sac pressure patterns used by domestic canaries during song, which consists of a succession of repetitions of different syllable types. We show that the pressure patterns used to generate different syllables can be approximated by the solutions of the investigated model. In this way, we are capable of integrating different description scales of our problem.
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