From Humans and Non-Human Primates to Robots: Motion
7-8 Dec 2015 Primatology Station of the CNRS, Rousset-sur-Arc (France)

Session 4: Motion Control

On the interaction between moving – breathing – talking

Susanne Fuchs1, Amélie Rochet-Capellan2, Uwe D. Reichel3

1: Centre for General Linguistics (ZAS), Berlin, Germany

2: GIPSA-lab, Department of Speech and Cognition (DPC) & CNRS, Grenoble, France

3: Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

Our daily life is full of complex sensorimotor actions which are done simultaneously. For example, walking and talking at the same time. These actions have different demands on respiration.  In this talk we will address the relation between body motion, respiration and spontaneous speech. The demands on oxygen supply increase in repetitive body motions and coincide with a high breathing rate. In contrast, breathing rate is rather low during speech production allowing the speaker to realize long speech streams of several words or phrases with an intended linguistic structure.

Our work addresses the interaction between these simultaneous actions and their competition with respect to respiration. Furthermore we show to what extent various repetitive motions can shape the temporal structure and rhythm of the spoken text via breathing. To do so, two different experiments were carried out combining motion capture, breathing and acoustic recordings in various single tasks (speaking only, moving only) and dual tasks (speaking and moving simultaneously).

In a first experiment, subjects were instructed to bike with a comfortable rate while sitting on an ergometer. The resistance of the bike was changed from 70 W to 140 W, which affected the muscular effort to move, the demands on the respiratory system, and the temporal structure and complexity of the speech sequences.

In a second experiment subjects produced either cyclical arm or leg motions using a Minitrimmer. Since arm gestures are often synchronized with speech production, we expected stronger effects of arm movements than legs movements on speech production.

The results of these experiments will be discussed in line with previous work on the interference of body motion on cognition and vice versa. A novel perspective is taken by combining motion and speech production via respiration.


Is there any common background in the brain for action, language and music?

Luciano Fadiga

University of Ferrara and The Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

The traditional view about brain localization of higher cognitive functions localizes praxic abilities and language in the left, dominant hemisphere and musical ones in the right. This assumption has been more and more weakened by neuroimaging evidence showing that musical structures significantly activate left frontal areas, during both production and listening.

Conversely, ERPs data show left and right anterior negativities elicited by syntactic violations in linguistic and musical domains, respectively. Starting from this ambiguous evidence, I will discuss the hypothesis that both, language and music may share a common syntactical background, motor in origin. Moreover, I will present some recent results of experiments aiming at investigating the conductor/orchestra interaction during music playing and how leaderships expression could be related to the quality of musical execution.


Neurobasis of motor skills in primates

William D. Hopkins

Georgia State University, Yerkes Primate Center, Atlanta, USA

Motor functions in humans often lateralized to the left hemisphere. For example, a majority of humans are right-handed which presumably reflects the left hemisphere dominance for motor skill. More recently, studies suggest that not only execution but the motor planning of motor actions by both the left and right hands may similarly be left lateralized in humans. In this talk, I discuss the evolution of lateralized motor functions in nonhuman primates by summarizing behavioral data on handedness, motor skill and tool use in chimpanzees. I further present evidence asymmetries in oro-facial motor control, and their association with manual skill. Finally, I present data on the neuroanatomical and neurofunctional correlates of manual preference and motor skill asymmetries in chimpanzees.


Neuroanatomical asymmetries of the central sulcus (CS) in relation to handedness in baboons. An anatomical MRI study in 90 Papio anubis.

Konstantina Margiotoudi1,2,4, Damien Marie1,2, Olivier Coulon3 , Adrien Meguerditchian1,2

1. Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, UMR7290 CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France

2. Station de Primatologie CNRS, UPS846, Rousset-sur-Arc, France

3. Institut des Neurosciences de la Timone, UMR7289 CNRS, Université Aix-Marseille, Marseille, France

4. ReMAin Behavioral and Cognitive Neurosciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

The preferential use of the right hand and its relationship to brain anatomical asymmetries are prominent manifestations of hemispheric specialization in the human brain. On that account, many studies investigate the origins of human handedness and hemispheric specialization in studying the manual lateralization in nonhuman primates. Manual lateralization for complex manipulative bimanual coordination in chimpanzees has been shown to be associated to structural asymmetries within the motor cortex and specifically at the central sulcus (CS), namely the motor hand area (known as KNOB) but not with homologs of language areas. This evidence attributes the origins of handedness to increased motor skills, such as bimanual coordination, beyond asymmetries in language area. Since non-human primates are our closest ancestors, studies on handedness in a large comparative approach including both apes and monkeys can be of great importance, in respect to the phylogenetic origins of cerebral specialization for manual control.

In the present study, we investigate the anatomical asymmetries in respect to depth and surface area of the CS in 90 baboons (Papio anubis)  from in vivo anatomical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that have been previously collected at the Center IRMf (INT, Marseille). For the post-processing of the MRI scans, we used a free distributed software BrainVisa, which is based on sulcus-based morphometry and allows the extraction of the brain sulci and their anatomical characteristics, such as depth and profile.

Moreover, the anatomical findings of the present study have been correlated with behavioral data on handedness for the TUBE task, since previous studies have shown the presence of population level right-handedness in baboons for the same task. The behavioral data have been previously collected on the TUBE task in order to assess handedness on baboon for bimanual actions at the Station de Primatologie CNRS (France).

The main results indicate the presence of CS depth asymmetry at the hemisphere controlateral to the preferred hand of the baboons for the TUBE task. The present neuroanatomical correlate of manual preference is an argument in favor of a continuty in manual laterality in humans a baboons, that perhaps goes back to a common ancestor 30-40 mya. This research was funded by ANR-12-PDOC-0014-01 (LangPrimate Project, P.I. Adrien Meguerditchian).


A brain spinal interface to alleviate gait deficits after neuromotor disorders

Marco Capogrosso*1, Tomislav Milekovic*2, David Borton*3, Eduardo Martin Moraud1, Jerome Gandar2, Fabien Wagner2, Camille Le Goff2, Nick Buse4, Peter Detemple5, Tim Denison4, Jocelyne Bloch6, Erwan Bezard7, Slvestro Micera1,8 and Gregoire Courtine2

1. Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational NeuroEngineering Lab, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Institute of Bioengineering, School of Engineering, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

2. International Paraplegic Foundation Chair in Spinal Cord Repair, Center for Neuroprosthetics and Brain Mind Institute, School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

3. School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

4. Medtronic Neuromodulation, Minneapolis, MN, USA

5. Fraunhofer ICT-IMM, Germany

6. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland

7. Institute of Neurodegenerative diseases, Bordeayz Institut of Neuroscience, UMR 5293, Bordeaux, France

8. Neural Engineering Area, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy.

Various neurological disorders disrupt the communication between supraspinal centers and the spinal circuits that control lower limb movements, which leads to a range of motor disabilities. Here, we introduce a brain spinal interface whereby cortical dynamics directly trigger electrical spinal cord stimulation protocols to adjust lower limb movements in freely behaving monkeys.  Two healthy rhesus macaques were implanted with an epidural spinal electrode implant that was tailored to access flexor versus extensor motor pools of the left and right lower limbs. The spinal implant was connected to a Medtronic Activa RC stimulator with a modified firmware enabling real-time control over multiple sites of stimulation via Bluetooth communication. A 96-microelectrode implant was inserted into the leg area of the left motor cortex to monitor broadband neuronal modulation via wireless data transfer. We built a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) decoder that predicted bilateral foot off and foot strike events based on cortical dynamics with an accuracy reaching up to 99% over several minutes of continuous locomotion. We next interfaced these motor predictions with control algorithms that updated the location, timing, and frequency of electrical spinal cord stimulation based on the desired locomotor movements. This brain spinal interface allowed the monkeys to enhance the degree of flexion versus extension of their left and right lower limbs during continuous locomotion without disrupting the natural dynamics of gait movements. The decoder anticipated the initiation and end of locomotion, turning on and off the specific electrodes with the appropriate timing based on the detected intention to walk or rest. We integrated technologies that have been approved for use in humans to demonstrate the feasibility of interfacing leg-area cortical signals with a highly selective spinal neuroprosthesis to alleviate gait disorders and enhance neurorehabilitation after neurological disorders.

Funding: This project was supported by the European Union projects Neuwalk, Walk Again, e-Walk and COFUND; Swiss National Science Foundation projects SpineRepair and NCCR Robotics; International Paraplegic Foundation and Morton Cure Paralysis Fund.

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