Dependence of EMG responses evoked by imposed wrist displacements on pre-existing activity in the stretched muscles

Can J Neurol Sci. 1984 May;11(2):272-80. doi: 10.1017/s0317167100045534.


The relationship between the segmented EMG activity in flexor carpi radialis evoked by imposed angular wrist displacement was studied with respect to the level of pre-existing background activity in 30 normal human subjects. Input-output response planes demonstrate that the magnitude of the M1 & M2-3 segments is dependent on both the displacement parameters and the level of pre-existing EMG activity in the stretched muscle. If the level of background activity exceeded 4-5% of the maximum voluntary contraction, the onset latency of the M1 segment and duration of the M1 and the M2-3 segments remained constant (within +/- 2 msec) for different magnitudes of step load displacements, despite marked variation in the range of the displacement's amplitude, duration, velocity, and acceleration. We propose that the dependency of the relationship between reflex magnitude and imposed movement parameters on tonic motoneuron activity, as represented by pre-existing EMG levels, may reflect an automatic adjustment mechanism that could be utilized in servo compensation of movements requiring markedly different force levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Electromyography*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Reflex, Stretch*
  • Wrist