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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:2947-50. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5332494.

Mechanical perturbations applied during impending movement evoke startle-like responses.

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1
Biomedical Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. vennjr@u.northwestern.edu

Abstract

Stretch reflexes have been considered one of the simplest circuits in the human nervous system. Yet, their role is controversial given that they assist or resist an imposed perturbation depending on the task instruction. Evidence shows that a loud acoustic stimulus applied prior to an impending movement elicits a movement-direction dependent muscle activity. In our study, we found that a perturbation can also trigger this early onset of movement, if applied during movement preparation. These responses were also perturbation direction dependent. This suggests an interaction of between the limb-stabilizing stretch reflexes and the voluntary activity.

PMID:
19963543
PMCID:
PMC2907083
DOI:
10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5332494
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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