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Type: Journal article
Title: Cortical excitability is not depressed in movement-modulated stretch response of human thumb flexor
Author: Wallace, C.
Miles, T.
Citation: Experimental Brain Research, 2001; 139(4):448-453
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0014-4819
Statement of
Christopher J. Wallace, Timothy S. Miles
Abstract: There is strong evidence that the predominant pathway of the long-latency stretch reflex for flexor pollicis longus crosses the motor cortex. This reflex response is diminished during active thumb movements. We tested the hypothesis that this could be due to a decrease in the excitability of the transcortical component during movement. During isometric, concentric and eccentric thumb movements, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex was given at a time when the reflex signal was traversing the motor cortex. TMS was also given earlier in separate runs when the signal was traversing the spinal cord under each of the three contractile conditions. The electromyogram was analysed for non-linear summation between stretch responses and the potential evoked by the cortical stimulus. The response to TMS alone was uniform across the three types of contraction, and the lack of cortical involvement in the short-latency reflex was confirmed. The TMS-evoked response summed in a non-linear manner with the long-latency reflex response, confirming that the excitability of the motor cortex was increased as the reflex signal passed through it. The long-latency response was markedly depressed during isotonic compared with isometric contractions. However, the non-linear summation was not greater during the isometric contractions. Thus, the depressed reflex responses during isotonic movements do not stem from reduced motor cortical responsiveness or afferent input to the transcortical pathway, and may instead reflect modulation of cutaneous reflexes during isotonic contractions.
Keywords: Transcortical reflex; Motor evoked potentials; Magnetic stimulation
Description: The original publication can be found at
RMID: 0020010519
DOI: 10.1007/s002210100803
Appears in Collections:Physiology publications

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