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Neuromechanics

April 26, 2010

Neuromechanics is an emerging field that views the brain, body, and environment question as a biologically-salient complex system which can provide a stepping-stone to applications such as brain-computer interfaces, neurorehabilitative assistive devices, and physically-immersive training procedures. In a series of experiments and computational investigations conducted in the past year, neuromechanical principles were used in two ways: to better understand how the design of motion-controlled and haptic-based virtual environments conform to features of human physiology, and how such environments can be used to create ‘mutant’ conditions to better understand the natural range of physiological responses to such environments.

The results of these explorations revealed two features. The first finding was that introducing perturbations (instances of environmental mutation) at different points in the experimental results in a number of modifications to performance in subsequent trials. The other finding is that the geometry of the forelimb is related to the output of muscles as measured both electrophysiologically and behaviorally. This is true even in cases where the body geometry and performance indicators are artificially scaled to illustrate the effects of prosthetic devices and different degrees of nonlinear feedback in the neuromechanical system.

Selected Publications:
A range-based method for neuromechanics and wearable human-machine systems. In Progress

Team:

  • Bradly Alicea
  • Dr. Frank Biocca

Funding:
AT&T Endowment

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