Spinal stretch reflexes support efficient hand control

Nat Neurosci. 2019 Apr;22(4):529-533. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0336-0. Epub 2019 Feb 11.


Motor behaviour is most efficiently controlled by correcting only disturbances that influence task success. It is currently thought that such control is computed within a transcortical feedback pathway. Here we show that, for postural hand control, even the fastest spinal feedback pathway can produce efficient corrective responses, forcing a re-evaluation of how the nervous system derives the control laws that support motor behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hand / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Posture
  • Reflex, Stretch / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Young Adult