Fundamentals of Neuromechanics

  • Francisco J.┬áValero-Cuevas

Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 8)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
    Pages 1-5
  3. Fundamentals

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 9-24
    3. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 25-36
    4. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 37-51
  4. Introduction to the Neural Control of Tendon-Driven Limbs

  5. Feasible Actions of Tendon-Driven Limbs

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 89-89
    2. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 91-111
    3. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 113-131
  6. Neuromechanics as a Scientific Tool

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-134
    2. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 135-157
    3. Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
      Pages 159-174
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 175-194

About this book


This book provides a conceptual and computational framework to study how the nervous system exploits the anatomical properties of limbs to produce mechanical function. The study of the neural control of limbs has historically emphasized the use of optimization to find solutions to the muscle redundancy problem. That is, how does the nervous system select a specific muscle coordination pattern when the many muscles of a limb allow for multiple solutions?
I revisit this problem from the emerging perspective of neuromechanics that emphasizes finding and implementing families of feasible solutions, instead of a single and unique optimal solution. Those families of feasible solutions emerge naturally from the interactions among the feasible neural commands, anatomy of the limb, and constraints of the task. Such alternative perspective to the neural control of limb function is not only biologically plausible, but sheds light on the most central tenets and debates in the fields of neural control, robotics, rehabilitation, and brain-body co-evolutionary adaptations. This perspective developed from courses I taught to engineers and life scientists at Cornell University and the University of Southern California, and is made possible by combining fundamental concepts from mechanics, anatomy, mathematics, robotics and neuroscience with advances in the field of computational geometry.
Fundamentals of Neuromechanics is intended for neuroscientists, roboticists, engineers, physicians, evolutionary biologists, athletes, and physical and occupational therapists seeking to advance their understanding of neuromechanics. Therefore, the tone is decidedly pedagogical, engaging, integrative, and practical to make it accessible to people coming from a broad spectrum of disciplines. I attempt to tread the line between making the mathematical exposition accessible to life scientists, and convey the wonder and complexity of neuroscience to engineers and computational scientists. While no one approach can hope to definitively resolve the important questions in these related fields, I hope to provide you with the fundamental background and tools to allow you to contribute to the emerging field of neuromechanics.


Computational Geometry Musculoskeletal structure Neural Control Neuroscience Robotics

Authors and affiliations

  • Francisco J.┬áValero-Cuevas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringThe University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4471-6746-4
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4471-6747-1
  • Series Print ISSN 2195-3562
  • Series Online ISSN 2195-3570
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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