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Biess, A., Flash, T., & Liebermann, D. G. (2011). Riemannian geometric approach to human arm dynamics, movement optimization, and invariance. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys, 83(3 Pt 1), 031927.
Abstract: We present a generally covariant formulation of human arm dynamics and optimization principles in Riemannian configuration space. We extend the one-parameter family of mean-squared-derivative (MSD) cost functionals from Euclidean to Riemannian space, and we show that they are mathematically identical to the corresponding dynamic costs when formulated in a Riemannian space equipped with the kinetic energy metric. In particular, we derive the equivalence of the minimum-jerk and minimum-torque change models in this metric space. Solutions of the one-parameter family of MSD variational problems in Riemannian space are given by (reparameterized) geodesic paths, which correspond to movements with least muscular effort. Finally, movement invariants are derived from symmetries of the Riemannian manifold. We argue that the geometrical structure imposed on the arm's configuration space may provide insights into the emerging properties of the movements generated by the motor system.
Biess, A., Liebermann, D. G., & Flash, T. (2007). A computational model for redundant human three-dimensional pointing movements: integration of independent spatial and temporal motor plans simplifies movement dynamics. J Neurosci, 27(48), 13045–13064.
Abstract: Few computational models have addressed the spatiotemporal features of unconstrained three-dimensional (3D) arm motion. Empirical observations made on hand paths, speed profiles, and arm postures during point-to-point movements led to the assumption that hand path and arm posture are independent of movement speed, suggesting that the geometric and temporal properties of movements are decoupled. In this study, we present a computational model of 3D movements for an arm with four degrees of freedom based on the assumption that optimization principles are separately applied at the geometric and temporal levels of control. Geometric properties (path and posture) are defined in terms of geodesic paths with respect to the kinetic energy metric in the Riemannian configuration space. Accordingly, a geodesic path can be generated with less muscular effort than on any other, nongeodesic path, because the sum of all configuration-speed-dependent torques vanishes. The temporal properties of the movement (speed) are determined in task space by minimizing the squared jerk along the selected end-effector path. The integration of both planning levels into a single spatiotemporal representation simplifies the control of arm dynamics along geodesic paths and results in movements with near minimal torque change and minimal peak value of kinetic energy. Thus, the application of Riemannian geometry allows for a reconciliation of computational models previously proposed for the description of arm movements. We suggest that geodesics are an emergent property of the motor system through the exploration of dynamical space. Our data validated the predictions for joint trajectories, hand paths, final postures, speed profiles, and driving torques.
Hoffman, J. R., Liebermann, D., & Gusis, A. (1997). Relationship of leg strength and power to ground reaction forces in both experienced and novice jump trained personnel. Aviat Space Environ Med, 68(8), 710–714.
Abstract: METHODS: There were 14 male soldiers who participated in this study examining the relationship of leg strength and power on landing performance. Subjects were separated into two groups. The first group (E, n = 7) were parachute training instructors and highly experienced in parachute jumping. The second group of subjects (N, n = 7) had no prior parachute training experience and were considered novice jumpers. All subjects were tested for one-repetition maximum (1 RM) squat strength and maximal jump power. Ground reaction forces (GRF) and the time to peak force (TPF) at landing were measured from jumps at four different heights (95 cm, 120 cm, 145 cm, and 170 cm). All jumps were performed from a customized jump platform onto a force plate. RESULTS: No differences were seen between E and N in either IRM squat strength or in MJP. In addition, no differences were seen between the groups for time to peak force at any jump height. However, significantly greater GRF were observed in E compared to N. Moderate to high correlations between maximal jump power and GRF (r values ranging from 0.62-0.93) were observed in E. Although maximal jump power and the TPF was significantly correlated (r = -0.89) at only 120 cm for E, it was interesting to note that the correlations between MJP and the time to peak force in E were all negative and that the correlations between these variables in N were all positive. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that experienced parachutists may use a different landing strategy than novice jumpers. This difference may be reflected by differences in GRF generated during impact and a more efficient utilization of muscle power during the impact phase of the landing.