Comparison of neck muscle activation patterns during head stabilization and voluntary movements

B. W. Peterson, E. A. Keshner, J. Banovetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The motor system that controls the neck musculature serves two major functions: stabilization of the head in the face of external perturbations or body movements, and generation of voluntary or orientating head movements. Typically the latter are thought to be mediated by complex pathways involving cerebral cortex and superior colliculus while stabilization is thought to be mediated by simple short-loop pathways that generate vestibulocollic and cervicocollic reflexes (VCR and CCR). Our work has been directed towards evaluating the extent to which the VCR and CCR are in fact responsible for head stabilization, and to determining how the motor patterns produced by these reflexes compare with those produced by the voluntary head movement system. To address these questions we have analysed the dynamic and spatial (kinematic) properties of the head movement system in cats and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in brain research
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


  • Activation pattern
  • Cervicocollic reflex
  • Dynamics
  • Electromyography
  • Head stabilization
  • Kinematics
  • Neck muscle
  • Tensorial model
  • Vestibulocollic reflex
  • Voluntary movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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