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Short latency heteronymous excitatory and inhibitory reflexes between antagonist and heteronymous muscles of the human shoulder and upper limb

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Janet Eyre


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The aims were (i) to investigate heteronymous excitatory and inhibitory Group Ia reflexes linking agonist/antagonist muscle pairs acting at the shoulder and elbow; clavicular pectoralis major (Pmajor) and posterior deltoid (Pdeltoid); biceps brachii (Bi) and Tri brachii (Tri), and linking muscles acting at the elbow (Bi and Tri) with muscles acting at the shoulder (Pmajor and Pdeltoid). (ii) To test the hypothesis that the excitability of the reflexes would vary between different tasks in a functionally relevant manner. The study was performed on 45 adults. Reflexes were recorded in the surface EMG when the target muscle was contracting at 10% maximum voluntary contraction. Reflexes were recorded in Bi and Tri with the elbow joint in one of three positions: 105°, 80°, or 55° from full extension. Group Ia reflexes were evoked using a small, brief tap to the tendon of the muscle being stimulated. Reflexes were recorded by cross-correlation of the surface EMG and pseudo-random series of taps. All subjects demonstrated short latency inhibition and excitation between agonist/antagonist muscle pairs; inhibition was significantly more frequent than excitation. Excitation and inhibition occurred with equal frequency between muscle pairs acting between elbow and shoulder. Minimum central delays for excitatory reflexes were 1 ms, consistent with monosynaptic projections and for inhibitory responses were 2 ms consistent with disynaptic linkage. Later excitatory and inhibitory reflexes with central delays of up to 15 ms also occurred. The probability of evoking excitation or inhibition in Tri or Bi changed with the different elbow positions. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McClelland VM, Miller S, Eyre JA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Brain Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 899

Issue: 1-2

Pages: 82-93

ISSN (print): 0006-8993

ISSN (electronic): 1872-6240

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0006-8993(01)02097-2

PubMed id: 11311868


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