Citation: Biological Cybernetics, 77, 131-140
Abstract: How do humans and other animals accomplish coordinated movements? How are novel combinations of limb joints rapidly assembled into new behavioral units that move together in in-phase or anti-phase movement patterns during complex movement tasks? A neural central pattern generator (CPG) model simulates data from human bimanual coordination tasks. As in the data, anti-phase oscillations at low frequencies switch to in-phase oscillations at high frequencies, in-phase oscillations occur at both low and high frequencies, phase fluctuations occur at the anti-phase in-phase transition, a ""seagull effect"" of larger errors occurs at intermediate phases and oscillations slip toward in-phase and anti-phase when driven at intermediate phases. These oscillations and bifurcations are emergent properties of the CPG model in response to volitional inputs. The CPG model is a version of the Ellias-Grossberg oscillator. Its neurons obey Hodgkin-Huxley type equations whose excitatory signals operate on a faster time scale than their inhibitory signals in a recurrent on-center off-surround anatomy. When an equal command or GO signal activates both model channels the model CPG can generate both in-phase and anti-phase oscillations at different GO amplitudes. Phase transitions from either in-phase to anti-phase oscillations or from anti-phase to in-phase oscillations can occur in different parameter ranges as the GO signal increases.