Time evolution of the organization of multi-muscle postural responses to sudden changes in the external force applied at the trunk level

Thomas Robert, Mark L. Latash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied muscle activation patterns in response to perturbations of posture (sudden changes in the external force applied to the thorax) during two time intervals corresponding to pre-programmed postural reactions and voluntary corrections of posture. A hypothesis was tested that a set of postural muscles could be used to form stable groups (M-modes) whose composition changes in different time intervals after a perturbation. Perturbations were applied at the sternum level to standing subjects at an unexpected time. Principal component analysis with factor extraction allowed to identify sets of three factors (M-modes) during the two time intervals, 80-180 ms (T1) and 250-450 ms (T2) after the perturbation. The composition of M-modes was similar within each time interval across subjects and perturbations but differed significantly between T1 and T2. In particular, M-modes during T1 were characterized by more co-contraction patterns. The results suggest that the neural controller is able to rearrange M-mode composition in real time based on a safety-efficacy trade-off. The results also support the idea that M-modes represent synergies in the muscle space, while they may be used as elemental variables to form synergies at a higher hierarchical level to produce desired mechanical effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-241
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience letters
Volume438
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 20 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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