Cooperative Phenomena in Biological Motion

  • J. A. S. Kelso
  • J. P. Scholz
Part of the Springer Series in Synergetics book series (SSSYN, volume 31)

Abstract

The production of a “simple” utterance, such as the syllable /ba/, involves the cooperation of a large number of neuromuscular elements operating on different time scales, e.g., at respiratory, laryngeal, and supralaryngeal levels. Yet somehow, from this huge dimensionality, /ba/ emerges as a coherent and well-formed pattern. Similarly, were one to count the neurons, muscles, and joints that cooperate to produce the “simple” act of walking, literally thousands of degrees of freedom would be involved. Yet again, somehow walking emerges as a fundamentally low-dimensional cyclical pattern—in the language of dynamical systems, a periodic attractor. In physics, an infinite dimensional system, described by a complicated set of partial, nonlinear differential equations can be reduced—when probed experimentally or analyzed theoretically—to a low-dimensional description [1,2]. In all these cases, it seems, information about the system is compressed—from a microscopic basis of huge dimensionality—to a macroscopic basis of low dimensionality.

Keywords

Biological Motion Symmetrical Mode First Dorsal Interosseous Temporal Coherence Step Cycle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. S. Kelso
    • 1
  • J. P. Scholz
    • 1
  1. 1.Haskins LaboratoriesNew HavenUSA

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