Proprioceptive feedback during point-to-point arm movements is tuned to the expected dynamics of the task

Mark B. Shapiro, Chuanxin M. Niu, Cynthia Poon, Fabian J. David, Daniel M. Corcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has previously been found that in point-to-point movements against inertial loads, proprioceptive feedback is centrally suppressed in the beginning of movement and is facilitated at a time that is correlated with the expected time of peak velocity. This suggests that the modulation of proprioceptive feedback is governed by the desired movement kinematics. Here we show that in movements against inertial and viscous loads, the correlation of the time when the feedback is facilitated is strongest with the time when the joint torque is expected to be maximal. This suggests that the modulation of proprioceptive feedback is governed by the desired movement dynamics. We applied unexpected perturbations in point-to-point elbow flexion movements against known light and heavy inertial and viscous loads and determined the time and magnitude of responses in the electromyogram (EMG) of the biceps and triceps muscles. In movements against the inertial and viscous loads, the time of the EMG responses was better predicted by the time of the peak joint torque in the unperturbed movement than by the time of peak velocity or the time of peak acceleration or by measures related to the agonist EMG. Moreover, the EMG response changed from a reciprocal pattern in the inertial load conditions to a co-contraction pattern in the viscous load conditions. Our results suggest that during movements against known stable dynamic loads, proprioceptive feedback is tuned to the expected task dynamics and is facilitated so as to maintain muscle stiffness at a time when the muscles are expected to generate maximal force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-591
Number of pages17
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume195
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

Keywords

  • Electromyogram
  • Human
  • Motor control
  • Reflex
  • Voluntary movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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