We investigated the interaction between transient change in the local structure of gastrocnemius muscle fibers and the segmented leg motor responses elicited by toes-up rotation of the support surface. The gastrocnemius muscle in healthy young subjects underwent a sustained 2-min. isometric stretch (Prestretch group), followed immediately by the rotations. Analysis showed that the prestretch affected the amplitude of the monosynaptic but not the automatic components of the medial gastrocnemius muscle responses (monosynaptic response: 93 ± 20% of the mean of the last three rotations in the Prestretch group compared to 174 ± 42% in the Control group; automatic response: 128 ± 18% in the Prestretch group versus 123 ± 31% in the Control group). The shortened tibialis anterior muscle response and the onset latencies of responses were not affected by prestretching the gastrocnemius muscle. The prestretch effect on the amplitude of the monosynaptic (mediated by group Ia afferents) but not the automatic gastrocnemius muscle response (mediated by group II afferents) suggests that the automatic component of the muscle response to platform rotations has a stronger supraspinal influence than the monosynaptic response and is thus less affected by local events such as prolonged stretching.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems