Muscle agonist–antagonist interactions in an experimental joint modelReport as inadecuate

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Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 222, Issue 4, pp 399–414

First Online: 29 August 2012Received: 12 March 2012Accepted: 08 August 2012


The experiments presented here and performed in anaesthetized cats aimed at studying the dynamics of interactions between antagonist muscle groups. The tendons of triceps surae muscles of both hindlimbs were connected with an artificial joint a pulley installed on a shaft. The muscles were activated by the distributed stimulation of five filaments of cut ventral roots L7–S1 on both sides of the spinal cord; movements were evoked by the rate-modulation of the stimulation trains. The study mostly compared programs of reciprocal activation and co-activation, including different changes in stimulation rates of muscle antagonists. The most common feature of the movements in both activation modes was hysteresis of the joint angle changes in dependence on stimulus rate. Reciprocal activation appeared suitable for a precise regulation of both amplitude and velocity of the movements in direction of the agonist shortening; maximal effectiveness was achieved during full switching off the antagonist stimulation at plateaus of the movement traces. The reverse movements during decrease of the agonist’s stimulation rate demonstrated an explicit nonlinear form with pronounced initial phase of the joint angle fixation. The co-activation pattern distinctly reduced the hysteresis of joint movements and suppressed the stimulation after-effects, such as the lasting residual movements after fixation of the stimulation rates.

KeywordsMuscle antagonists Hysteresis Movement after-effects Motor control  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Andrei V. Gorkovenko - Stanislaw Sawczyn - Natalia V. Bulgakova - Jaroslaw Jasczur-Nowicki - Viktor S. Mishchenko - Alexan


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