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Assistive loading promotes goal-directed tuning of stretch reflex gains
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6294-7844
Neuromuscular Diagnostics, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Neuromuscular Diagnostics, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI), Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; Munich Data Science Institute (MDSI), Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB), Physiology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9890-2974
2023 (English)In: eNeuro, E-ISSN 2373-2822, Vol. 10, no 2, article id ENEURO.0438-22.2023Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Voluntary movements are prepared before they are executed. Preparatory activity has been observed across the CNS and recently documented in first-order neurons of the human PNS (i.e., in muscle spindles). Changes seen in sensory organs suggest that independent modulation of stretch reflex gains may represent an impor-tant component of movement preparation. The aim of the current study was to further investigate the preparatory modulation of short-latency stretch reflex responses (SLRs) and long-latency stretch reflex responses (LLRs) of the dominant upper limb of human subjects. Specifically, we investigated how different target pa-rameters (target distance and direction) affect the preparatory tuning of stretch reflex gains in the context of goal-directed reaching, and whether any such tuning depends on preparation duration and the direction of background loads. We found that target distance produced only small variations in reflex gains. In contrast, both SLR and LLR gains were strongly modulated as a function of target direction, in a manner that facili-tated the upcoming voluntary movement. This goal-directed tuning of SLR and LLR gains was present or enhanced when the preparatory delay was sufficiently long (.250 ms) and the homonymous muscle was unloaded [i.e., when a background load was first applied in the direction of homonymous muscle action (as-sistive loading)]. The results extend further support for a relatively slow-evolving process in reach preparation that functions to modulate reflexive muscle stiffness, likely via the independent control of fusimotor neurons. Such control can augment voluntary goal-directed movement and is triggered or enhanced when the homonymous muscle is unloaded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: Society for Neuroscience , 2023. Vol. 10, no 2, article id ENEURO.0438-22.2023
Keywords [en]
assistive loading, goal-directed, movement preparation, reaching, stretch reflex
National Category
Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-205485DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0438-22.2023ISI: 000939809600001PubMedID: 36781230Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85148736176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-205485DiVA, id: diva2:1743495
Available from: 2023-03-15 Created: 2023-03-15 Last updated: 2023-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Torell, FridaDimitriou, Michael

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