Browsing Open Access Publications by Subject "biological sciences"
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ItemThe nervous system tunes sensorimotor gains when reaching in variable mechanical environments(iScience, 2023-06-16) Maurus, Philipp; Jackson, Kuira; Cashaback, Joshua G.A.; Cluff, TylerHighlights: • The control of reaching is altered when facing time-varying physical disturbances • The changes in control increase responses to proprioceptive and visual feedback • Responses to feedback are tuned to the variability of the time-varying disturbances Summary: Humans often move in the presence of mechanical disturbances that can vary in direction and amplitude throughout movement. These disturbances can jeopardize the outcomes of our actions, such as when drinking from a glass of water on a turbulent flight or carrying a cup of coffee while walking on a busy sidewalk. Here, we examine control strategies that allow the nervous system to maintain performance when reaching in the presence of mechanical disturbances that vary randomly throughout movement. Healthy participants altered their control strategies to make movements more robust against disturbances. The change in control was associated with faster reaching movements and increased responses to proprioceptive and visual feedback that were tuned to the variability of the disturbances. Our findings highlight that the nervous system exploits a continuum of control strategies to increase its responsiveness to sensory feedback when reaching in the presence of increasingly variable physical disturbances. Graphical abstract available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106756