alexa Task specificity in the control of intrinsic trunk muscles in man.


Industrial Engineering & Management

Author(s): Oddsson L, Thorstensson A

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Abstract The human trunk is a complex mechanical system comprised of large and small segments interconnected with several layers of muscles. An accurate control of this system is important during a variety of everyday tasks such as voluntary movements of the trunk, walking and running. This study was designed to investigate the interaction between muscles controlling the pelvis and the trunk during a variety of movements requiring a finely tuned coordination. Four subjects carried out seven different forms of fast oscillatory movements of the pelvis and trunk in the sagittal and transverse planes. Electromyographical activity (EMG) was recorded with surface electrodes from the abdominal muscles rectus abdominis (RA), obliquus externus (OE), obliquus internus (OI), and erector spinae (ES), from the hip flexor muscle rectus femoris (RF), the hip extensor muscle gluteus maximus (GM) and from the hip extensor/knee flexor muscles of the hamstrings group (HAM). Movements were recorded with an optoelectronic system (Selspot). The results indicate that during spontaneous flexion-extension movements of the trunk there was a basic alternating activation between a pure flexor (RF-RA-OE-OI) and an extensor synergy (ES-GM-HAM). Different mixed synergies appeared when more specific patterns of coordination of the pelvis and spine were performed. For example, during pelvic tilts in the sagittal plane, RA-OE-OI-GM formed a synergy which was activated reciprocally with ES. The neural circuitry controlling muscles of the pelvis and trunk is apparently adaptable to a variety of different tasks. Individual muscles were shown to either cause, brake or prevent a movement and to be integrated in several different task-specific motor synergies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) This article was published in Acta Physiol Scand and referenced in Industrial Engineering & Management

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