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When we walk, muscles and nerves interact in intricate ways to let us take a step. This simulation, based on movement data from a 6-foot-tall man and generated using computational modeling, shows what happens. Red indicates that a muscle has received a signal from the nervous system to contract, and blue shows that the muscle is relaxed and receiving no signal. The simulation and the software behind it one day could aid athletic coaches and doctors in understanding how injuries that disrupt motor signals can cause movement disorders. Courtesy of computational biomechanists Chand John and Eran Guendelman, Stanford University.

The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research supports this work.

Featured in the August 20, 2008, issue of Biomedical Beat.