Research NewsNeuroscience

Tilting Against a Major Theory of Movement Control

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Science  05 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5258, pp. 32-33
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5258.32


For years, neuroscientists have thought the brain controls movements, such as those of the arm, by making use of the natural springiness of muscles, combined with reflexes, and not by calculating all the forces needed to get a limb to its final destination. But a new test of that theory, described in a report on page 117, suggests that's not the case—that the brain is in fact in full control of the muscle contractions that move the arm from one place to another.