A unifying model of concurrent spatial and temporal modularity in muscle activity

Delis, I., Panzeri, S., Pozzo, T. and Berret, B. (2014) A unifying model of concurrent spatial and temporal modularity in muscle activity. Journal of Neurophysiology, 111(3), pp. 675-693. (doi: 10.1152/jn.00245.2013)

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Modularity in the central nervous system (CNS), i.e., the brain capability to generate a wide repertoire of movements by combining a small number of building blocks (“modules”), is thought to underlie the control of movement. Numerous studies reported evidence for such a modular organization by identifying invariant muscle activation patterns across various tasks. However, previous studies relied on decompositions differing in both the nature and dimensionality of the identified modules. Here, we derive a single framework that encompasses all influential models of muscle activation modularity. We introduce a new model (named space-by-time decomposition) that factorizes muscle activations into concurrent spatial and temporal modules. To infer these modules, we develop an algorithm, referred to as sample-based nonnegative matrix trifactorization (sNM3F). We test the space-by-time decomposition on a comprehensive electromyographic dataset recorded during execution of arm pointing movements and show that it provides a low-dimensional yet accurate, highly flexible and task-relevant representation of muscle patterns. The extracted modules have a wellcharacterized functional meaning and implement an efficient trade-off between replication of the original muscle patterns and task discriminability. Furthermore, they are compatible with the modules extracted from existing models, such as synchronous synergies and temporal primitives, and generalize time-varying synergies. Our results indicate the effectiveness of a simultaneous but separate condensation of spatial and temporal dimensions of muscle patterns. The space-by-time decomposition accommodates a unified view of the hierarchical mapping from task parameters to coordinated muscle activations, which could be employed as a reference framework for studying compositional motor control.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Panzeri, Professor Stefano and Delis, Dr Ioannis
Authors: Delis, I., Panzeri, S., Pozzo, T., and Berret, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Journal of Neurophysiology
ISSN (Online):1522-1598

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