Muscular co-contraction covaries with task load to control the flow of motion in fine motor tasks
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SourceBiological Psychology, 68, 3, (2005), pp. 331-352
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
This study focuses on the relationship between movement-time fluctuations in fine motor tasks and changing levels of muscular co-contraction. Based on a recent neuromotor noise theory, we expected that increased task stress would increase muscular co-contraction and prolong movement times. Ten right-handed adults performed a graphic task, which elicited local movement-time prolongations. In half the trials, a distracting sound was presented as an external stressor. Besides pen-tip kinematics, two estimates of muscular co-contraction were obtained from the surface EMG measurements of eight arm and hand muscles. The results confirm the presumed co-variation of movement time and co-contraction. We conclude that muscular co-contraction forms a strategic means to adapt the flow of motion to central information processing demands.
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