Upper limb H reflexes and somatosensory evoked potentials modulated by movement
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In the human lower limb, the magnitudes of both Hoffmann (H) reflexes and primary somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) from scalp electrodes, are reduced by active and/or passive movement. We surmised that similar effects occur for the upper limb and specifically hypothesised that amplitudes of median nerve induced flexor carpii radialis H reflexes and cortical SEPs are reduced with passive movement about the wrist or elbow. The results showed (P<0. 05) that either movement significantly attenuated mean magnitudes of SEPs elicited from stimulation at elbow or wrist and that reflex magnitudes attenuated with wrist movement. Thus, the upper limb shows similar movement-induced modulation to the lower limb. These attenuations of fast conducting sensory paths consequent to movement per se, may be a basic level of motor control, initiated from muscle mechanoreceptor discharge. Upon this basic level, more complex modulations then may be laid as appropriate for the particular characteristics of active motor tasks.
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