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Changes in tibialis anterior corticospinal properties after acute prolonged muscle vibration

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Prolonged local vibration is known to impair muscle performance. While involved mechanisms were previously evidenced at the spinal level, changes at the cortical level were also hypothesized. The aims of the present study were to investigate the effects of 30 min of 100-Hz tibialis anterior muscle vibration on force production capacities and to further identify the respective changes in spinal loop properties, descending voluntary drive and corticospinal properties.


Thirteen subjects were tested before and after a vibration condition, and before and after a resting control condition. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in dorsiflexion was measured. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was superimposed during MVCs to assess cortical voluntary activation (VATMS), motor-evoked potential amplitude (MEP) and cortical silent period length (CSP). MEP and CSP were also measured during 50 and 75 % MVC contractions. Spinal excitability was investigated by mean of H-reflex.


There were no vibration effects on MVC (p = 0.805), maximal EMG activity (p = 0.653), VATMS (p = 1), and CSP (p = 0.877). Vibration tended to decrease MEP amplitude (p = 0.117). H-reflex amplitude was depressed following vibration (p = 0.008).


Dorsiflexion maximal force production capacities were unaffected by 30 min of tibialis anterior muscle vibration, despite spinal loop and corticospinal excitabilities being reduced. These findings suggest that acute prolonged vibration has the potential to modulate corticospinal excitability of lower limb muscles without a concomitant functional consequence.

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Cortical silent period

CSP50 :

CSP recorded during 50 % MVC contraction


CSP recorded during MVC


Estimated resting twitch


Motor-evoked potential

MEP50 :

MEP recorded during 50 % MVC contraction


MEP recorded during MVC

Mmax :

Peak to peak amplitude of the maximal M-wave


Maximal voluntary contraction


Root mean square of electromyography


Resting motor threshold


Superimposed twitch


Superimposed twitch during MVC


Tibialis anterior muscle


Transcranial magnetic stimulation


Cortical voluntary activation


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We sincerely acknowledge Dr. Léonard Féasson for conducting medical inclusions and Régis Bonnefoy for technical assistance. Robin Souron was supported by a doctoral research Grant from the University Jean Monnet of Saint Etienne.

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Correspondence to Thomas Lapole.

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Communicated by Toshio Moritani.

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Farabet, A., Souron, R., Millet, G.Y. et al. Changes in tibialis anterior corticospinal properties after acute prolonged muscle vibration. Eur J Appl Physiol 116, 1197–1205 (2016).

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