Aug 27, 2014

Explicit feedback and instruction do not change shoulder muscle activity reduction after shoulder fixation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ruian KeJames O Lloyd-Smith


Generating pure elbow rotation requires contracting muscles at both the shoulder and elbow joints to counter torques that arise at the shoulder when the forearm rotates (i.e., intersegmental dynamics). Previous work has shown that human participants learn to reduce their shoulder muscle activity if the same elbow movement is performed after the shoulder joint is mechanically locked, which is appropriate because locking the shoulder joint eliminates the torques that arise at the shoulder when the forearm rotates. However, this learning is slow (i.e., it unfolds over hundreds of trials) and incomple​te (i.e., shoulder activity is not fully eliminated). Here we investigated whether and how the addit​ion of explicit strategies and biofeedback modulate this type of learning. Three groups of human participants (N = 55) performed voluntary pure elbow rotations using a robotic exoskeleton that permits shoulder and elbow rotation in a horizontal plane. Participants did the task with the shoulder free to move (baseline), then with the shoulder joint locked by the robotic manipulandum (adaptation), and then with the shoulder free to move again (post-adaptation). The first group of participants performed this protocol and received no instr...Continue Reading

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