Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Dynamical Feedback Control: Motor Cortex as an Optimal Feedback Controller Based on Neural Dynamics

Version 1 : Received: 26 January 2022 / Approved: 28 January 2022 / Online: 28 January 2022 (08:03:31 CET)

How to cite: Versteeg, C.; Miller, L. Dynamical Feedback Control: Motor Cortex as an Optimal Feedback Controller Based on Neural Dynamics. Preprints 2022, 2022010428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0428.v1). Versteeg, C.; Miller, L. Dynamical Feedback Control: Motor Cortex as an Optimal Feedback Controller Based on Neural Dynamics. Preprints 2022, 2022010428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0428.v1).

Abstract

Primates have an unparalleled ability to produce a wide range of dexterous movements, each sensitive to context and robust to perturbation. Recent progress in understanding the neural basis of movement generation comes from two largely independent ideas, “Optimal Feedback Control” and “Neural Dynamical Systems”. The optimal control framework was largely inspired by research programs from the ‘80s showing that the brain doesn’t seem to plan a simple desired movement trajectory, but instead produces movements by transforming sensory information into motor output that satisfies an optimality criterion. The more recent idea that the motor cortex acts as a dynamical system came about only as it became possible to analyze large numbers of simultaneously recorded single neurons. These two framings of the motor system have been largely incommensurate, neither able to contribute much to the understanding of the other. In this review, we reconcile these two views into a single model we call “Dynamical Feedback Control”. We propose that the dynamics in the motor cortex emerge from a sensorimotor transformation that couples the motor cortex to sensory input from the periphery, and to contextual inputs from other cortical and subcortical areas. Dynamics in motor cortex can be thought to approximate gains of a feedback controller, and by moving the neural state to different regions of state space, the motor system can rapidly alternate between different controllers. The DFC framework presents a new lens to interpret neural dynamics, and to understand how ensembles of neurons generate flexible and responsive patterns of muscle activity.

Keywords

Motor Control; Feedback; Dynamical Systems

Subject

BIOLOGY, Physiology

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