Background: How the central nervous system (CNS) organizes the joint dynamics for multi-joint movement is a complex problem, because of the passive interaction among segmental movements. Previous studies have demonstrated that the CNS predictively compensates for interaction torque (INT) which is arising from the movement of the adjacent joints. However, most of these studies have mainly examined quick movements, presumably because the current belief is that the effects of INT are not significant at slow speeds. The functional contribution of INT for multijoint movements performed in various speeds is still unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the contribution of INT to a planer reaching in a wide range of motion speeds for healthy subjects. Methods: Subjects performed reaching movements toward five targets under three different speed conditions. Joint position data were recorded using a 3-D motion analysis device (50 Hz). Torque components, muscle torque (MUS), interaction torque (INT), gravity torque (G), and net torque (NET) were calculated by solving the dynamic equations for the shoulder and elbow. NET at a joint which produces the joint kinematics will be an algebraic sum of torque components; NET = MUS - G - INT. Dynamic muscle torque (DMUS = MUS-G) was also calculated. Contributions of INT impulse and DMUS impulse to NET impulse were examined. Results: The relative contribution of INT to NET was not dependent on speed for both joints at every target. INT was additive (same direction) to DMUS at the shoulder joint, while in the elbow DMUS counteracted (opposed to) INT. The trajectory of reach was linear and two-joint movements were coordinated with a specific combination at each target, regardless of motion speed. However, DMUS at the elbow was opposed to the direction of elbow movement, and its magnitude varied from trial to trial in order to compensate for the variability of INT. Conclusion: Interaction torque was important at slow speeds. Muscle torques at the two joints were not directly related to each other to produce coordinated joint movement during a reach. These results support Bernstein's idea that coordinated movement is not completely determined by motor command in multi-joint motion. Based on the data presented in this study and the work of others, a model for the connection between joint torques (muscle and passive torques including interaction torque) and joint coordination is proposed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging