A model for forward dynamic simulation of the rapid tapping motion of an index finger is presented. The finger model was actuated by two muscle groups: one flexor and one extensor. The goal of this analysis was to estimate the maximum tapping frequency that the index finger can achieve using forward dynamics simulations. To achieve this goal, each muscle excitation signal was parameterized by a seventh-order Fourier series as a function of time. Simulations found that the maximum tapping frequency was 6 Hz, which is reasonably close to the experimental data. Amplitude attenuation (37% at 6 Hz) due to excitation/activation filtering, as well as the inability of muscles to produce enough force at high contractile velocities, are factors that prevent the finger from moving at higher frequencies. Musculoskeletal models have the potential to shed light on these restricting mechanisms and help to better understand human capabilities in motion production.

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