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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2007 Dec;17(6):739-46. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Anticipation mechanism in body sway control and effect of muscle fatigue.

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Biomedical Engineering Program, COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, PO Box 68510, 21941-972, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


The aim of this work is to quantify the occurrence of an anticipatory mechanism in the control of quiet standing by measuring the lag between the myoelectric activity of the lateral gastrocnemius muscle and the stabilometric signal, as well as to determine the influence of the muscle fatigue on this process. Stabilometric and electromyographic (EMG) signals were synchronously collected from 22 subjects. Gastrocnemius fatigue was induced by a sustained plantar flexed posture until muscle failure. The data acquisition lasted for 120 s before and after the induced fatigue. After mean removal, the root mean square values of the EMG (RMS-EMG) were calculated for each 20 ms period. The normalized cross-correlation function was estimated to find the time delay between RMS-EMG and stabilometric signals. Anticipation values up to 1.62 s were found both before and after fatigue conditions (p<0.05), indicating that this mechanism plays an important role in body sway control. The fatigue caused a significant increase in the latency between the myoelectric activity of the gastrocnemius muscle and the movements of the center of pressure (p<0.05).

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