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2.184 Biomechanics and Neural Control of Movement

Prereq: 2.004, 2.04A, or permission of instructor
U (Spring)
12 Units

Quantitative knowledge of human movement behavior is important in a growing number of engineering applications (medical and rehabilitation technology, athletic and military equipment, human-computer interaction, vehicle performance, etc.). Presents a quantitative, model-based description of how biomechanical and neural factors interact in human sensory-motor behavior, focusing mainly on the upper limbs. Students survey recent literature on how motor behavior is controlled, comparing biological and robotic approaches to similar tasks. Topics may include a review of relevant neural, muscular and skeletal physiology, neural feedback and "equilibrium-point" theories, co-contraction strategies, impedance control, kinematic redundancy, optimization, intermittency, contact tasks and tool use. Students taking the graduate version will complete additional assignments.

N. Hogan

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Subject meets with 2.183[J], 9.34[J]