Task-dependent responses to muscle vibration during reaching
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal of Neuroscience, 49, 11, (2019), pp. 1477-1490
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
European Journal of Neuroscience
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Feedback corrections in reaching have been shown to be task-dependent for proprioceptive, visual and vestibular perturbations, in line with predictions from optimal feedback control theory. Mechanical perturbations have been used to elicit proprioceptive errors, but have the drawback to actively alter the limb's trajectory, making it non-trivial to dissociate the subject's compensatory response from the perturbation itself. In contrast, muscle vibration provides an alternative tool to perturb the muscle afferents without changing the hands trajectory, inducing only changes in the estimated, but not the actual, limb position and velocity. Here, we investigate whether upper-arm muscle vibration is sufficient to evoke task-dependent feedback corrections during goal-directed reaching to a narrow versus a wide target. Our main result is that for vibration of biceps and triceps, compensatory responses were down-regulated for the wide compared to the narrow target. The earliest detectable difference between these target-specific corrections is at about 100 ms, likely reflecting a task-dependent feedback control policy rather than a voluntary response.
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