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Towards a model of human motor control!

Dr. Dana H. Ballard (Note: TUESDAY PERSCI FORUM TALK)

From Tuesday, May 05, 2015 -  11:00am
To Monday, May 04, 2015 - 12:00am

University of Texas, Austin, Department of Computer Sciences and Center for Perceptual Systems

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Its a central fact that animals have the brains and plants do not, making it inescapable that a
central role of the brain is to direct movement. Given this context, it is surprising that in the study of
cognition, vision has been given a central emphasis and human movements have experienced a
secondary role. The most likely reason for this is that shear complexity human motor control
system, involving the cooperative interaction of every brain subsystem. This complexity stands in
the way of a crucial understanding of how the movement system interfaces with cognition except in
special cases. The best studied special case is in walking where inverse pendulum (IP) models
have allowed the study of the interaction between vision and movement, but general models have
proved extremely challenging. Stanford’s OpenSim system allows a complete model that
incorporates neural activation and muscle force length functions but can require days of compute
time for just a few seconds of motion. We have developed a model of human motion that goes
significantly beyond the current IP capability. Our current model has fifty degrees of freedom and
its real time computation of an individual subject’s control of movements allows it to address
questions about the realization and cost of whole body motion in action choices.!

Dr. Dana H. Ballard (Note: TUESDAY PERSCI FORUM TALK)