NeuroMap System

Musculoskeletal Modeling and Simulation

Objective: Develop a realistic model of muscle force generation that incorporates physiologically-based properties of motor unit control.

The development of physiological models based on empirical motor unit data represents an important step towards more accurate modeling and investigation of the neural control of movement.

Musculoskeletal Modeling and Simulation

Methods

The First Dorsal Interosseous and Vastus Lateralis muscles of the hand and leg were studied during contractions varying from low to max forces to derive a relation between motor unit firing behavior and muscle excitation. This novel information was used to drive a simulation model to understand how muscles control adapts during fatigue.

Early-Late Fatigue MU Firing Rates

Results

The model replicated the increase in motor unit firing rates and the recruitment of additional higher amplitude motor units that is known to occur in order to sustain a given task as fatigue develops, and shed light of the neural mechanisms of force control.

The ability to extend such studies to dynamic activities opens the door to investigating the control of human movement during functional unconstrained tasks.