Autoassociation and novelty detection by neuromechanics

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Science  13 Sep 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5025, pp. 1289-1291
DOI: 10.1126/science.1891718


Many biomechanical systems contain ball joints with several elastic actuators (muscles) obliquely attached to the links. The problem of calculating the optimum actuator commands to achieve a desired link orientation is a difficult one for any control system; however, the elasticity of the actuators may be part of the solution. Mechanoreceptors such as those found in muscles and tendons are capable of performing operations that can be regarded as autoassociation and novelty detection, respectively, by minimization of potential energy. The information provided by such sensors may then be exploited for optimization of muscle coordination.