Proprioceptive Afferent Information and Movement Control
At least since the advent of motor psychophysics in the 1890s, there has been considerable interest in the role of proprioceptive information in motor control, and whether different classes of movements use such information in fundamentally distinct ways. In his classic 1899 monograph, Woodworm had some difficulty distinguishing between the contribution of exteroceptive and proprioceptive inputs to motor control. He noted that “any sense whatever may conceivably serve as the sensory basis for controlling the extent of a movement.” However, it is apparent from Woodworm’s discussions that muscular sense is one of the more important senses that humans use for movement control. Despite a wealth of clinical and experimental observations indicating the general significance of proprioceptors (i.e., muscle spindles, Golgi tendon organs, and tactile afferents) in motor performance, there remains some doubt about the exact contribution of these receptors to movement. That is, do certain classes of afferents contribute special regulation to certain movements?
KeywordsMotor Control Proprioceptive Input Golgi Tendon Organ Motor Unit Discharge Motor Unit Discharge Rate
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