Motor nerve conduction velocity distributions in man: results of a new computer-based collision technique

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1987 Mar;66(3):235-43. doi: 10.1016/0013-4694(87)90072-1.


A new computer-based collision technique for direct measurement of the human motor nerve conduction velocity distribution is described. In contrast to previous collision techniques, the test muscle response is progressively cancelled to a null using an arrangement of proximal and distal stimuli which eliminates distortion of the test response caused by transient changes in nerve and muscle fibre conduction. The increased sensitivity of this new technique permits accurate measurement of the slowest 1% of alpha motor nerve fibres. We have used our modified collision technique to determine motor nerve conduction velocity distributions for the median nerve in 20 normal subjects aged between 19 and 59 (mean 35) years. 150% maximal stimulus intensities were used, with a controlled limb temperature of 35 degrees C. Group mean velocities (+/- S.D.) for the fastest (95%), mean (50%) and slowest (5% and 1%) motor fibres were 59.1 +/- 3.0, 56.9 +/- 2.9, 52.7 +/- 3.1 and 51.2 +/- 3.7 m/sec respectively. Data are also presented for the ulnar and peroneal nerves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Humans
  • Median Nerve / physiology
  • Methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Conduction*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Peroneal Nerve / physiology
  • Ulnar Nerve / physiology