Differences in central control of m. biceps brachii in movement tasks and force tasks

Exp Brain Res. 1990;79(1):138-42. doi: 10.1007/BF00228882.


Motor-unit activity in m. biceps brachii during isometric flexion contractions has been compared with motor-unit activity during a) slow voluntary movements against constant or increasing preloads and b) flexion contractions while movements were imposed by a torque motor. Recruitment levels and firing frequency behaviour of the motor units were found to be very similar when torques were generated during isometric contractions and during the imposed movements. However, these characteristics of the biceps motor units were quite different during the slow voluntary movements. It is suggested that the central activation of the alpha and/or gamma motoneurone pools of m. biceps brachii is different for force tasks and slow movement tasks, even if the same torques are exerted and/or movements are made.

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology*
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Neural Conduction*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Recruitment, Neurophysiological*