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Why the Hand?

  • Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 629)

Surely all neuromuscular systems are complex, and complex enough that our understanding of them (e.g., as described in this book) is universally regarded as challenging. Nevertheless the neuro-musculo-skeletal complexity of the human hand has an aura of being somehow different to that of limbs, and somehow vital to our identity as a species. In fact, the naming of our palenteological lineage emphasizes two biomechanical and one cognitive milestone: homo erectus, homo abilis, and homo sapience, where abilissuggests the manual ability for tool making as a critical evolutionary stage. A reasonable question is, therefore, whether and how the neuromuscular control of the human hand is different from other neuromuscular systems in our body, or other species even. This short Introduction attempts to provide a perspective from which to understand the breadth and depth of today’s lines of inquiry on the neuromuscular control of the hand. As such, it is incomplete and does not do justice to...

Keywords

Cerebral Palsy Motor Control Hand Function Human Hand Finger Force 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringThe University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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