On the coordination of highly dynamic human movements: an extension of the Uncontrolled Manifold approach applied to precision jump in parkour


Maldonado, G. et al



Scientific Reports

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The human body generally has more degrees of freedom than necessary for generating a given movement. According to the motor abundance principle, this redundancy is beneficial as it provides the central nervous system with flexibility and robustness for the generation of movements. Under the hypothesis of the Uncontrolled Manifold, the additional degrees of freedom are used to produce motor solutions by reducing the variability that affects the motion performance across repetitions. In this paper, we present a general mathematical framework derived from robotics to formulate kinematic and dynamic tasks in human movement. On this basis, an extension of the Uncontrolled Manifold approach is introduced to deal with dynamic movements. This extension allows us to present a complex experimental application of the proposed framework to highly dynamic task variables in parkour movements. This experiment involves dynamic tasks expressed in terms of linear and angular momenta. The results show that the central nervous system is able to coordinate such skilled tasks which appear to be preferentially controlled and hierarchically organized. The proposed extension is promising for the study of motion generation in anthropomorphic systems and provides a formal description to investigate kinematics and dynamics tasks in human motions.