Lets get moving!

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This week in my neurobiology class we read a research article titles How Animals Move: An Integrative View. I found this article particular interesting, simply because the general population views movement as just the extension and relaxation of muscles, but never really thinks of the subject in the view of neural mechanical feedback. The paper goes into explain how different animals move in way that is most beneficial to them and that the movement can be influenced on their habitat. Also, that certain movement can allow for energy recovery. The study was focused on how to determine each individual component within a locomotor system operates, while at the same time studying how they function collectively as an integrated whole. The paper also mention 4 themes.
1) Spatiotemporal dynamics of locomotion are complicated but understandable on the basis of a few principles. 2) performance of animals in natural habitats reflects trade-off between different ecological important aspects of behavior and is affected by the physical properties of the environment. 3) control of locomotion is not linear, but organized. 4) muscles perform many different functions in locomotion.
So lets compare walking and running. When walking the center mass is much like a pendulum, at mid stance mass is its highest. Running is like that of a spring, compressing and recoiling. A great example to talk about how habitats effect movement is that of a 2 different jellyfish. A bullet shaped jellyfish uses jet propulsion, but vortices produced by a disk jellyfish are more advantangeous for its body shape. Now we can see how things works as a whole and we see that control systems are closely coupled. Both neural and mechanical pathways is integrated with guidance from eyes, ears, ect.. Example central nervous system generates motor commands that activate the musculoskeletal system of the animal, that in turn acts on the external environment, that is sensed by multiple modalities and fed back to the central nervous system. This provides evidence that the different system are coupled and can be broken down to look at individually and coupled to be studied as an integrated whole.

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This page contains a single entry by Lacey Bebout published on September 18, 2011 12:41 AM.

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