The Neural Representation of Kinematics and Dynamics in Multiple Brain Regions: The Use of Force Field Reaching Paradigms in the Primate and Rat

  • Joseph T. Francis
Part of the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues book series (MECT, volume 2)


In this chapter I will review the past and present motor control literature with an emphasis on reaching movements. Debate still rages as to what movement related variables are controlled by the neural motor control system especially concerning dynamic vs. kinematic variables. There is a rich history in the motor control literature that has employed monkeys of several species making reaching movements while holding loaded or robotic manipulandum. However, to date very little work has been conducted using the rat reaching paradigm to investigate the control of dynamics vs. kinematics. I will review a very simple rat robotic manipulandum paradigm and initial results from it. This paradigm is presently being expanded from a 1 degree of freedom system similar to those used in early primate research to a 2 and even 3 degree of freedom version, such as those used with primates and humans today.


Motor learning Brain machine interface Thalamus Somatotopic Somatosensory Prosthesis 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph T. Francis
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyState University of New York Downstate Medical CenterBrooklyn
  2. 2.Program in Neural and Behavioral ScienceState University of New York Downstate Medical CenterBrooklyn
  3. 3.Program in Biomedical EngineeringState University of New York Downstate Medical CenterBrooklyn

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