Spatiotemporal surface EMG characteristics from rat triceps brachii muscle during treadmill locomotion indicate selective recruitment of functionally distinct muscle regions.
SourceExperimental Brain Research, 138, 1, (2001), pp. 26-3-36
Article / Letter to editor
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Experimental Brain Research
SubjectNeuromuscular and neurometabolic disorders; Neuromusculaire en neurometabole aandoeningen
Multichannel surface EMG recordings of a multiheaded skeletal muscle during cyclic locomotion combined with cineradiography were analysed in a chronic experiment. The resulting detailed two-dimensional activation pattern from the long and lateral triceps brachii heads of the rat during treadmill locomotion were combined with gait characteristics and fibre typing of the muscle. Shortly before ground contact of the forelimb, maximum muscle activity was found in the proximal part of the long head of the muscle. During the stance phase maximum activity was observed in the proximal part of the lateral head. The frequency dependent behaviour of cross-covariance functions over both muscle heads confirmed this selective shift in activation. In the lateral triceps brachii head of the investigated rats, exclusively type II fibres were found. In the long head the frequency of type I fibres was the highest in the deep muscle layers, proximally more than distally, whereas type II fibres were dominant in more superficial muscle layers. A combination of physiological and histological findings supports an anticipating mechanism whereby fine-tuning of the vertical foot down manoeuvre is mainly achieved by the (type I fibre dominated) proximal deep compartment of the biarticular long triceps brachii head and force generation is predominantly executed by the monoarticular lateral triceps brachii head.
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