Interaction of involuntary post-contraction activity with locomotor movements

Y. P. Ivanenko, W. G. Wright, V. S. Gurfinkel, Fay Horak, Paul Cordo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Involuntary post-contraction muscle activity may occur after performing a strong long-lasting (about 30 s) isometric muscle contraction (Kohnstamm phenomenon). Here we examined how this putative excitatory state may interact with a locomotor movement. The subjects stood upright and were asked to oppose a rotational force applied to the pelvis for about 30 s either in the clockwise or in the counterclockwise direction. After that, they were asked to perform various motor tasks with the eyes closed. During quiet standing, we observed an involuntary post-contraction torsion of the trunk. During walking, the post-contraction facilitatory effect of body torsion was not overridden by the voluntary activity, but instead significantly influenced the forward locomotor program such that subjects walked along a curved trajectory in the direction of the preceding torsion. In contrast, we did not observe any rotational component when subjects were asked to step in place. We conclude that the post-contraction rotational aftereffect does not transfer to just any motor task but apparently manifests itself in those movements that incorporate the activated axial muscle synergy or rotational component. We argue that central excitability changes following the voluntary effort may contribute to the phenomenon and highlight the role of tonic influences in fine-tuning of the spinal cord.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume169
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

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Locomotion
Muscle Contraction
Isometric Contraction
Pelvis
Walking
Spinal Cord
Muscles
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Interaction of involuntary post-contraction activity with locomotor movements. / Ivanenko, Y. P.; Wright, W. G.; Gurfinkel, V. S.; Horak, Fay; Cordo, Paul.

In: Experimental Brain Research, Vol. 169, No. 2, 02.2006, p. 255-260.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ivanenko, Y. P. ; Wright, W. G. ; Gurfinkel, V. S. ; Horak, Fay ; Cordo, Paul. / Interaction of involuntary post-contraction activity with locomotor movements. In: Experimental Brain Research. 2006 ; Vol. 169, No. 2. pp. 255-260.
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