Muscles possess nonlinear visco-elastic properties when they contract. This property can autocorrect movements when a muscle is forced to change its length, and at a velocity different to that with which it was originally commanded. Such automatic correction is useful when a commanded action is perturbated, for example, if a step goes into a hole as this causes the foot to unexpectedly stretch down. The nonlinear visco-elastic properties of muscles interact with these perturbation induced velocity and length differences such that they counteract directly, as they happen, the effects upon the body of the perturbation.
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