The internal model and the leading joint hypothesis: Implications for control of multi-joint movements

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This article presents a theoretical generalization of recent experimental findings accumulated in support of two concepts of inter-segmental dynamics regulation during multi-joint movements. The concepts are the internal model of inter-segmental dynamics and the leading joint hypothesis (LJH). The internal model of limb dynamics is a well-established interpretation of feed-forward control. Recent experiments have generated new information about the organization of the internal model and its role in regulation of inter-segmental dynamics. The LJH, which proposes a simplified principle of the regulation of inter-segmental dynamics, is at the beginning stage of development. This paper outlines major results obtained in these two research directions and demonstrates that the two groups of findings complement and augment each other, suggesting a simple and robust hierarchical strategy of multi-joint movement control that exploits specific mechanical properties of human limbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005



  • Feed-forward
  • Feedback
  • Hierarchical control
  • Internal model
  • Limb dynamics
  • Multi-joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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