Skip to Main Content
The voluntary contractions of unassociated muscles are under the control of the pyramidal system and may be subjected to control and training. The nature and exercise of this control and its relation to fixed "path" habits in animals has been discussed by Lorens (1965). In essence, Lorenz hypothesizes a set of innate genetically transmitted 'basic movement elements. These elements are linked together to achieve arbitrary complex motions in a manner analogous to the association of subroutines in a large program. The linkage, initially exploratory and tentative, is transformed into a smooth and coordinated overall movement by an adaptive process which rejects redundant and superfluous elements of motion and substitutes compatible elements. A strikingly similar behavior is exhibited by animals in learning a path through a maze; here again hesitant and awkward behavior becomes confident and continuous as superfluous movements are eliminated with increased experience. It is shown that myoelectric control systems can be based on the path habit hypothesis.