Neck vibration causes short-latency electromyographic activation of lower leg muscles in postural reactions of the standing human

Acta Otolaryngol. 2002 Apr;122(3):284-8. doi: 10.1080/000164802753648169.


To study how quickly cervical proprioceptive information induced muscular responses in the lower leg to control posture in the standing human we investigated lower leg muscle electromyography and force-plate data from 10 healthy normal subjects, when perturbed by posterior neck muscle vibration. At the onset of vibration the tibialis anterior muscle was activated at latencies of 70-100 ms whilst the triceps surae muscle was inhibited at the same latencies. At offset the opposite pattern was observed. These findings suggest that a short-latency integrative system, rather than a direct reflex, mediates the cervical influence on posture. The short latencies also imply that activation of postural muscles in response to vibration towards the neck muscles occurs faster than would be expected if it was caused only by a perceptive illusion of movement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Proprioception / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Vibration*