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Neuromechanics in humans, other animals and robots

Abstract

Humans and other animals have a remarkable agility which allows them to navigate
complex environments with grace. This motor dexterity is still poorly understood
scientifically. We believe the reason for this is that motor coordination cannot be
understood by studying the nervous system in isolation. Indeed, the biomechanical
properties of the human or animal body have a key role in shaping the motor pattern. This
workshop brings together researchers working at the interface of experimental
biomechanics and computational neuroscience. Its purpose is to discuss the insights that
can be gained into neural function by investigating the integration of neural control with
musculoskeletal biomechanics.
The first session will compare the neural control of locomotion in different species, in
relation to their limb design, ranging from quadrupedal animals such as dogs (Dr. Andrada)
to bipedal animals such as birds and humans (Prof. Dr. Daley). The approaches presented
combine animal experimentation with neuro-musculoskeletal modeling and simulation. The
hypotheses developed can then be tested in biorobotics by directly observing the influence
of different leg designs on locomotor control (Dr. Spröwitz). The second session will
explore how the neural control of movement in humans changes over the course of sports
practice, aging, and disease, in relation to changing biomechanics. By combining human
experiments with personalized neuro-musculoskeletal modeling (Prof. Wagner), training
interventions tailored to an individual’s characteristics can be developed.

 

Speakers list
(Further speaker and schedule to be announced)