Apr 11, 2009

The role of intrinsic muscle mechanics in the neuromuscular control of stable running in the guinea fowl

The Journal of Physiology
Monica A DaleyAndrew A Biewener

Abstract

Here we investigate the interplay between intrinsic mechanical and neural factors in muscle contractile performance during running, which has been less studied than during walking. We report in vivo recordings of the gastrocnemius muscle of the guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), during the response and recovery from an unexpected drop in terrain. Previous studies on leg and joint mechanics following this perturbation suggested that distal leg extensor muscles play a key role in stabilisation. Here, we test this through direct recordings of gastrocnemius fascicle length (using sonomicrometry), muscle-tendon force (using buckle transducers), and activity (using indwelling EMG). Muscle recordings were analysed from the stride just before to the second stride following the perturbation. The gastrocnemius exhibits altered force and work output in the perturbed and first recovery strides. Muscle work correlates strongly with leg posture at the time of ground contact. When the leg is more extended in the drop step, net gastrocnemius work decreases (-5.2 J kg(-1) versus control), and when the leg is more flexed in the step back up, it increases (+9.8 J kg(-1) versus control). The muscle's work output is inherently stabilising because it p...Continue Reading

  • References41
  • Citations24

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Surface Electromyography
Extensor Muscle
Galliformes
Running (Physical Activity)
Soleus Muscle Structure
Family Numididae
Postural Balance
Kinematics
Posture brand of calcium phosphate, tribasic
Numida meleagris (organism)

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