Low-threshold afferent signalling of viscous loads during voluntary movements of the human digits Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Humans can discriminate changes in load viscosity during voluntary contractions. The afferent signal origin is unknown. Microneurographic recordings from 83 single low-threshold afferents were made while participants performed triangular ramps either unloaded or with a viscous load. The neural discharges for each cycle were compared across load and velocity. Fifty-eight afferents did not respond. Afferents with sufficient activity were classified as ambiguous--discharges correlated to velocity and load (n=4), infinite viscosity--strong load and weak velocity signal (n=6), no viscosity--strong velocity and weak load signal (n=10) and those with neither (n=5). No single class of afferent provides a coherent signal of viscosity. These data suggest that the central nervous system compares the population response of different inputs to discriminate viscosity.

authors

  • McNulty, Penelope A
  • Galea, Vicki
  • Fallon, James B
  • Bent, Leah R
  • Macefield, Vaughan

publication date

  • July 2008