1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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A kinematic synergy for terrestrial locomotion shared by mammals and birds

  1. Giovanna Catavitello  Is a corresponding author
  2. Yury Ivanenko
  3. Francesco Lacquaniti
  1. IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Italy
  2. University of Rome, Italy
Research Article
  • Cited 6
  • Views 2,116
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Cite this article as: eLife 2018;7:e38190 doi: 10.7554/eLife.38190

Abstract

Locomotion of tetrapods on land adapted to different environments and needs resulting in a variety of different gait styles. However comparative analyses reveal common principles of limb movement control. Here we report that a kinematic synergy involving the planar covariation of limb segment motion holds in 54 different animal species (10 birds and 44 mammals), despite large differences in body size, mass (ranging from 30 g to 4 tonnes), limb configuration, and amplitude of movements. This kinematic synergy lies at the interface between the neural command signals output by locomotor pattern generators, the mechanics of the body center of mass and the external environment, and it may represent one neuromechanical principle conserved in evolution to save mechanical energy.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Giovanna Catavitello

    Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy
    For correspondence
    g.catavitello@hsantalucia.it
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2286-7321
  2. Yury Ivanenko

    Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology, IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Francesco Lacquaniti

    Centre of Space Bio-medicine, University of Rome, Rome, Italy
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

Ministero della Salute (IRCCS Ricerca corrente)

  • Francesco Lacquaniti

Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (grant no I/006/06/0)

  • Francesco Lacquaniti

Italian Ministry of University and Research (PRIN grant 2015HFWRYY_002)

  • Francesco Lacquaniti

Horizon 2020 Robotics Program (ICT-23-2014 under Grant Agreement 644727-CogIMon)

  • Yury Ivanenko
  • Francesco Lacquaniti

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 8, 2018
  2. Accepted: October 28, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 30, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: November 27, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Catavitello et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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