: Muscle coactivation increases in challenging balance conditions as well as with advanced age and mobility impairments. Increased muscle coactivation can occur both in anticipation of (feedforward) and in reaction to (feedback) perturbations, however the causal relationship between feedforward and feedback muscle coactivation remains elusive. Here we hypothesized that feedforward muscle coactivation would increase both the body's initial mechanical resistance due to muscle intrinsic properties the later feedback-mediated muscle coactivation in response to postural perturbations. Young adults voluntarily increased leg muscle coactivation using visual biofeedback prior to support-surface perturbations. In contrast to our hypothesis, feedforward muscle coactivation did not increase the body's initial intrinsic resistance to perturbations, nor did it increase feedback muscle coactivation. Rather, perturbations with feedforward muscle coactivation elicited a medium- to long-latency increase of feedback-mediated agonist activity but a decrease of feedback-mediated antagonist activity. This reciprocal rather than coactivation effect on ankle agonist and antagonist muscles enabled faster reactive ankle torque generation, reduced ankle dorsiflexion and reduced CoM motion. We conclude that in young adults, voluntary feedforward muscle coactivation can be independently modulated with respect to feedback mediated muscle coactivation. Further, our findings suggest feedforward muscle coactivation may be useful for enabling quicker joint torque generation through reciprocal, rather than coactivated, agonist-antagonist feedback muscle activity. As such our results suggest that behavioral context is critical to whether muscle coactivation functions to increase agility versus stability.

Voluntary muscle coactivation in quiet standing elicits reciprocal rather than coactive agonist-antagonist control of reactive balance

Martino, Giovanni
;
2023

Abstract

: Muscle coactivation increases in challenging balance conditions as well as with advanced age and mobility impairments. Increased muscle coactivation can occur both in anticipation of (feedforward) and in reaction to (feedback) perturbations, however the causal relationship between feedforward and feedback muscle coactivation remains elusive. Here we hypothesized that feedforward muscle coactivation would increase both the body's initial mechanical resistance due to muscle intrinsic properties the later feedback-mediated muscle coactivation in response to postural perturbations. Young adults voluntarily increased leg muscle coactivation using visual biofeedback prior to support-surface perturbations. In contrast to our hypothesis, feedforward muscle coactivation did not increase the body's initial intrinsic resistance to perturbations, nor did it increase feedback muscle coactivation. Rather, perturbations with feedforward muscle coactivation elicited a medium- to long-latency increase of feedback-mediated agonist activity but a decrease of feedback-mediated antagonist activity. This reciprocal rather than coactivation effect on ankle agonist and antagonist muscles enabled faster reactive ankle torque generation, reduced ankle dorsiflexion and reduced CoM motion. We conclude that in young adults, voluntary feedforward muscle coactivation can be independently modulated with respect to feedback mediated muscle coactivation. Further, our findings suggest feedforward muscle coactivation may be useful for enabling quicker joint torque generation through reciprocal, rather than coactivated, agonist-antagonist feedback muscle activity. As such our results suggest that behavioral context is critical to whether muscle coactivation functions to increase agility versus stability.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3480303
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