Simbios Talk by Darryl Thelen, University of Wisconsin, March 28, 2007

Title: Simulation of Human Locomotion: Computational Techniques and Applications in Rehabilitation

Abstract: Dynamic simulation can be used to describe how the elements of the neuromusculoskeletal system interact to produce human locomotion. Simulations provide estimates of internal variables, such as muscle forces and tendon strain, and also enable the prediction of the effects of impairment and injury on locomotor function. Such information is important in establishing a scientific basis for rehabilitation programs. In this seminar, I will present computational techniques for efficiently generating muscle-actuated simulations of human locomotion from experimental data. Our recent approaches for incorporating foot-floor contact models, assessing the influence of measurement noise and validating model predictions will be reviewed. I will then demonstrate the use of the simulation framework for gaining insights into two clinical applications: a) biomechanical factors that limit walking speed in older adults, b) the mechanisms and rehabilitation of hamstring strain injuries.