Context-Dependent Modulation of Cutaneous Reflex Amplitudes during Forward and Backward Leg Cycling

E. Paul Zehr, Sandra R. Hundza, Jaclyn E. Balter, Pamela M. Loadman
2009 Motor Control  
We used amplitude modulation of cutaneous reflexes during leg cycling as a paradigm to investigate neural control mechanisms regulating forward (FWD) and backward (BWD) rhythmic limb movement. Our prediction was a simple reversal of reflex modulation during BWD leg cycling and context-dependent reflex modulation. Cutaneous reflexes were evoked by electrical stimulation delivered to the superficial peroneal (SP) and distal tibial (TIB) nerves at the ankle. EMG recordings were collected from
more » ... collected from muscles acting at the hip, knee, and ankle. Kinematic data were also collected at these joints. Cutaneous reflexes were analyzed according to the phase of movement in which they were evoked. When functional phases (i.e., flexion or extension) of cycling were matched between FWD and BWD, background EMG and reflex modulation patterns were generally similar. The reflex patterns when compared at similar functional phases presented as a simple reversal suggesting FWD and BWD cycling are regulated by similar neural mechanisms. The general reflex regulation of limb trajectory was maintained between cycling directions in accordance with the task requirements of the movement direction.
doi:10.1123/mcj.13.4.368 pmid:20014646 fatcat:i3yv4yrskvdplo6snzi5ypdaxa