The contribution of gravitational torques to limb position sense

Exp Brain Res. 1985;61(1):38-42. doi: 10.1007/BF00235618.


An experiment is reported which examined whether gravitational torque acting about a joint is used by the CNS in elbow joint angle matching. Subjects were required to match the joint angles of their two limbs while the external torques acting about each elbow were systematically varied. It was found that when the matching limb was differentially loaded, the error in the produced reference angle corresponded to the directional prediction of a proposed gravitational torque hypothesis. The data suggest that torque sensation is an accessory source of information in limb positioning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Extremities / innervation*
  • Female
  • Gravitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Posture*
  • Proprioception*