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Motor control
Motor control
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Motor control

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The discipline of Motor Control is the study of human movement and the systems that control it under normal and pathological conditions.
Depends upon -
Environmental result of the movement (Outcome)
Movement pattern
Neuromotor processes underlying movement

The discipline of Motor Control is the study of human movement and the systems that control it under normal and pathological conditions.
Depends upon -
Environmental result of the movement (Outcome)
Movement pattern
Neuromotor processes underlying movement

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Motor control

  1. 1. Theories of motor controlDr. Maheshwari Harishchandre Assistant Professor M.P.Th (Neurosciences) DVVPF College of Physiotherapy, Ahmednagar
  2. 2. Objectives  What is motor control.  Different theories of motor control  Clinical implications.  Limitations.
  3. 3. Motor Control  Defn – The ability of regulate or direct the mechanisms essential to movement.  Why is it necessary to know?  Movement emerges from three factors -
  4. 4.  Individual – Action, Perception, Cognition  Task – Stability, Mobility, Manipulation  Environment – Regulatory, Nonregulatory
  5. 5. Description  The discipline of Motor Control is the study of human movement and the systems that control it under normal and pathological conditions.  Depends upon -  Environmental result of the movement (Outcome)  Movement pattern  Neuromotor processes underlying movement
  6. 6.  A theory of motor control is a group of abstract ideas about the control of movement.  A theory is a set interconnected statements that describe unobservable structures or processes & relate them to each other & to observable events.
  7. 7. Theories of Motor control  Reflex theory  Hierarchical theory  Complex systems theory  Motor Programming Theories  Systems Theory.  Ecological Theory
  8. 8. Reflex Theory  Reflex Theory (Charles Sherrington)  Complex behavior (movement) is controlled by a series of chained reflexes
  9. 9. • Sir Charles Sherrington, the integrativeSir Charles Sherrington, the integrative action of the nervous system (1906)action of the nervous system (1906) • This is based on the observation thatThis is based on the observation that monkeys were unable to lift their arm aftermonkeys were unable to lift their arm after resection ofresection of one sideone side of dorsal rootof dorsal root ganglia.ganglia.  Therefore, sensory inputs mustTherefore, sensory inputs must be essential in initiating movements.be essential in initiating movements.
  10. 10. Clinical Implications  If the chained or compounded reflexes are the basis of functional movement, clinical strategies designed to test the reflexes should allow the therapist to predict functions.  Patients movement behaviors would be interpreted in terms of presence or
  11. 11. Limitations of Reflex TheoryLimitations of Reflex Theory • Unable to explainUnable to explain – Spontaneous and voluntary movementsSpontaneous and voluntary movements – Movement can occur without a sensoryMovement can occur without a sensory stimulus ex- Fast sequentialstimulus ex- Fast sequential movements, e.g. typingmovements, e.g. typing – A single stimulus can trigger variousA single stimulus can trigger various responses (reflexes can be modulated)responses (reflexes can be modulated)
  12. 12. Hierarchical Theory  Hierarchical Theory (H Jackson 1930s)  Movement is controlled by a system consisting of 3 levels with a rigid top down organization  Higher centers control lower centers
  13. 13. • Higher centers are always control lowerHigher centers are always control lower centerscenters • Higher centers inhibit the reflexesHigher centers inhibit the reflexes controlled by lower centerscontrolled by lower centers • Reflexes controlled by lower centers areReflexes controlled by lower centers are present only when higher centers arepresent only when higher centers are damageddamaged
  14. 14. This theory suggest that motor controlThis theory suggest that motor control emerges from reflexes that are nestedemerges from reflexes that are nested within hierarchically organized levels ofwithin hierarchically organized levels of the CNS.the CNS. – A child’s capacity to sit, stand, and walkA child’s capacity to sit, stand, and walk is related to the progressive emergenceis related to the progressive emergence and disappearance of reflexesand disappearance of reflexes – Brain stem reflexes (associated withBrain stem reflexes (associated with head control) emerge before midbrainhead control) emerge before midbrain reflexes (associated with trunk control)reflexes (associated with trunk control)
  15. 15. Hierarchical TheoryHierarchical Theory
  16. 16. Current Concepts Related toCurrent Concepts Related to Hierarchical TheoryHierarchical Theory  Each level of the motor system can actEach level of the motor system can act on other levelson other levels  Reflexes are not considered the soulReflexes are not considered the soul determinant of motor control but only asdeterminant of motor control but only as one of many processes important to theone of many processes important to the generation and control of movement.generation and control of movement.
  17. 17. Clinical Implications ofClinical Implications of Hierarchical TheoryHierarchical Theory ““When the influence of higher centers is temporarily orWhen the influence of higher centers is temporarily or permanently interfered with, normal reflexes becomepermanently interfered with, normal reflexes become exaggerated and so called pathological reflexesexaggerated and so called pathological reflexes appear” Brunnstrom,appear” Brunnstrom, ““The release of motor responses integrated at lowerThe release of motor responses integrated at lower levels from restraining, influences of higher center,levels from restraining, influences of higher center, especially that of the cortex, leads to abnormal posturalespecially that of the cortex, leads to abnormal postural reflex activity”…Bobath, 1965reflex activity”…Bobath, 1965
  18. 18. Limitations of HierarchicalLimitations of Hierarchical TheoryTheory • Environment and other non-CNS factorsEnvironment and other non-CNS factors can affect movement, e.g. Thelen’scan affect movement, e.g. Thelen’s experiments showed that baby’s steppingexperiments showed that baby’s stepping response re-emerges with body weightresponse re-emerges with body weight supportsupport • Normal adults exhibit lower level reflexes,Normal adults exhibit lower level reflexes, e.g. flexor withdrawale.g. flexor withdrawal
  19. 19. – Many studies found that movement isMany studies found that movement is possible evenpossible even in the absence of stimuliin the absence of stimuli or sensory inputor sensory input – Sensory inputs are not required toSensory inputs are not required to produce a movement but they areproduce a movement but they are important inimportant in adapting and modulatingadapting and modulating the movementthe movement Motor Programming TheoriesMotor Programming Theories
  20. 20. Motor Programming TheoriesMotor Programming Theories • Motor programs areMotor programs are – Hardwired and stereotyped neural connections suchHardwired and stereotyped neural connections such as central pattern generators (CPGs)as central pattern generators (CPGs) – Abstract rules for generating movements at the higherAbstract rules for generating movements at the higher levellevel • Motor program can be activated by sensory stimuli or byMotor program can be activated by sensory stimuli or by central processescentral processes
  21. 21. Clinical Implications ofClinical Implications of Motor Programming TheoriesMotor Programming Theories • Movement problems are caused by abnormalMovement problems are caused by abnormal CPGs or higher level motor programsCPGs or higher level motor programs • It is important to help patients relearn theIt is important to help patients relearn the correct rules for actioncorrect rules for action • Focus onFocus on retraining movements that areretraining movements that are critical to a functional taskcritical to a functional task, not just specific, not just specific
  22. 22. Limitations of MotorLimitations of Motor Programming TheoriesProgramming Theories • Does not consider that the nervous system must dealDoes not consider that the nervous system must deal with both musculoskeletal and environmentalwith both musculoskeletal and environmental variables to produce movementsvariables to produce movements – e.g. identical neural commands to elbow flexorse.g. identical neural commands to elbow flexors can produce different movements depending oncan produce different movements depending on the initial position of the arm and the force ofthe initial position of the arm and the force of gravitygravity
  23. 23. Systems Theory:Systems Theory: • How does the CNS select a solution from anHow does the CNS select a solution from an infinite number of possibilities for a task?infinite number of possibilities for a task? • SolutionSolution – Higher levels activate lower levels whileHigher levels activate lower levels while lower levels activatelower levels activate synergiessynergies, i.e. groups of, i.e. groups of muscles that are constrained to act togethermuscles that are constrained to act together as a unitas a unit
  24. 24. • Viewed body as a mechanical system,Viewed body as a mechanical system, involving the interaction between mass,involving the interaction between mass, external force (e.g. gravity), internal forceexternal force (e.g. gravity), internal force • ““CoordinationCoordination of movement is the processof movement is the process of mastering the redundant degrees ofof mastering the redundant degrees of freedom of the moving organism”freedom of the moving organism” (Bernstein, 1967)(Bernstein, 1967)
  25. 25. Systems Theory: Latash’sSystems Theory: Latash’s Principle of AbundancePrinciple of Abundance • SynergySynergy is ais a task-specifictask-specific covariation ofcovariation of elementalelemental variablevariables with the purpose tos with the purpose to stabilize astabilize a performanceperformance variable, i.e. minimize errors of avariable, i.e. minimize errors of a performance variableperformance variable – Reaching: joint rotation angleReaching: joint rotation angle stabilize handstabilize hand positionposition – Grasping: individual finger forceGrasping: individual finger force stabilize totalstabilize total grasp forcegrasp force – Standing stability: postural muscle activationStanding stability: postural muscle activation  stabilize COPstabilize COP
  26. 26. Clinical Implications of SystemsClinical Implications of Systems TheoryTheory • Body is a mechanical system. ConsiderBody is a mechanical system. Consider musculoskeletal factors underlying a patient’smusculoskeletal factors underlying a patient’s movement problemmovement problem • Changes in movements may not necessarily resultChanges in movements may not necessarily result from neural changes, e.g. faster vs. slow gait, speedfrom neural changes, e.g. faster vs. slow gait, speed during sit to standduring sit to stand • Encourage the patient to explore variableEncourage the patient to explore variable
  27. 27. Dynamic Systems Theory:Dynamic Systems Theory: Principle of Self-OrganizationPrinciple of Self-Organization • Movement emerges as a result of interactingMovement emerges as a result of interacting elements. No needs for specific neuralelements. No needs for specific neural commands or motor programs.commands or motor programs. • Variability of movement is normal. OptimalVariability of movement is normal. Optimal amount of variability allows for flexible, adaptiveamount of variability allows for flexible, adaptive strategies to meet the environmental demandstrategies to meet the environmental demand
  28. 28. Clinical Implications  This theory helps in understanding the physical and dynamic properties of human body , we can make use of these properties in helping the patients to regain motor control
  29. 29. Limitation of Systems TheoryLimitation of Systems Theory • Nervous system is fairly unimportantNervous system is fairly unimportant
  30. 30. Ecological Theory:Ecological Theory: • Action is specific to the task goal and theAction is specific to the task goal and the environmentenvironment • Perceptual information of thePerceptual information of the environmental factors relevant to the taskenvironmental factors relevant to the task goal is necessary to guide the actiongoal is necessary to guide the action • Limitations:Limitations: – ↓↓ emphasis on nervous systememphasis on nervous system
  31. 31. Clinical Implications ofClinical Implications of Ecological TheoryEcological Theory • Individual is an active explorer of theIndividual is an active explorer of the environment for learningenvironment for learning • Individual discovers multiple ways to solveIndividual discovers multiple ways to solve movement problems in environmentmovement problems in environment • Fundamental to the play-based therapy forFundamental to the play-based therapy for pediatric patientspediatric patients

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