Control of human spine in repetitive sagittal plane flexion and extension motion using a CPG based ANN approach


The complexity associated with musculoskeletal modeling, simulation, and neural control of the human spine is a challenging problem in the field of biomechanics. This paper presents a novel method for simulation of a 3D trunk model under control of 48 muscle actuators. Central pattern generators (CPG) and artificial neural network (ANN) are used simultaneously to generate muscles activation patterns. The parameters of the ANN are updated based on a novel learning method used to address the kinetic redundancy due to presence of 48 muscles driving the trunk. We demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed method with numerical simulation of experiments involving rhythmic motion between upright standing and 55 degrees of flexion. The tracking performance of the model is accurate to within 2° while reciprocal muscle activation patterns were similar to the observed experimental coordination patterns in normal subjects. The suggested method can be used to map high-level control strategies to low-level control signals in complex biomechanical and biorobotic systems. This will also provide insight about underlying neural control mechanisms.

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