Stretch Reflexes in Shoulder Muscles Are Described Best by Heteronymous Pathways

M. Hongchul Sohn, Emma M. Baillargeon, David B. Lipps, Eric J. Perreault*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The shoulder is a highly mobile joint spanned by complex musculature. Careful coordination of muscles is required to maintain shoulder integrity and stability. The objective of this study was to determine the role of stretch reflexes in maintaining this coordination. Specifically, we quantified whether stretch reflexes elicited in muscles spanning the glenohumeral joint were best described by homonymous pathways linking each muscle to itself, or heteronymous pathways coordinating activity between muscles. We used a novel robotic manipulandum to perturb shoulder posture in three degrees of freedom as subjects exerted isometric torques. Electromyograms were used to measure the elicited stretch reflexes. Our results suggest that stretch reflexes are coordinated between muscles, and that this coordination is mediated at least in part through rapid, spinal networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiosystems and Biorobotics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameBiosystems and Biorobotics
ISSN (Print)2195-3562
ISSN (Electronic)2195-3570

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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