Multijoint movement control: The importance of interactive torques

Caroline J. Ketcham, Natalia Dounskaia, George E. Stelmach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The underlying mechanisms of the neural control of movement have long been explored, with a focus primarily on central control aspects and often overlooking the intrinsic mechanical properties of the motor system. To fully understand the control and regulation of movements, the biomechanical properties of the moving subject, specifically interactive torques, must be considered in the design, evaluation, and interpretation of empirical data. We first discuss the difficulty of extrapolating information from a wide variety of tasks due to their varying inherent task constraints. Examples are subsequently given where a biomechanical perspective provides a more informative interpretation of existing data. Finally, we focus on research examining the role of interactive torques with a discussion of how discoordinated movements may be explained by an inability to modulate interactive torques. Inclusion of biomechanical considerations in motor control research is a step toward incorporating multilevel methodologies and interpretations into the field, and providing a more comprehensive understanding of the neural control and regulation of movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in brain research
StatePublished - 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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