Journal article

Human control of an inverted pendulum: Is continuous control necessary? Is intermittent control effective? Is intermittent control physiological?

Ian D Loram, Henrik Gollee, Martin Lakie, Peter J Gawthrop

Journal of Physiology | WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC | Published : 2011


Human motor control is often explained in terms of engineering 'servo' theory. Recently, continuous, optimal control using internal models has emerged as a leading paradigm for voluntary movement. However, these engineering paradigms are designed for high band-width, inflexible, consistent systems whereas human control is low bandwidth and flexible using noisy sensors and actuators. By contrast, engineering intermittent control was designed for bandwidth-limited applications. Our general interest is whether intermittent rather than continuous control is generic to human motor control. Currently, it would be assumed that continuous control is the superior and physiologically natural choice fo..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by EPSRC

Awarded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We acknowledge EPSRC financial support for this project via the linked grants EP/F068514/1, EP/F069022/1 and EP/F06974X/1. We wish to thank the anonymous volunteers for their enthusiasm and time in carrying out these experiments.