In the present study, the extent to which the early component of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and the Hoffmann (H-) reflex induced by stimulation of the posterior tibial nerve are altered during the ascending and descending phases of fast plantarflexion was investigated. SEPSs and H-reflex of the soleus following tibial nerve stimulation were examined during fast plantarflexion when performed by nine normal subjects. The analyses focused on differences in amplitude modulation of the P30-P40 component of SEP and the H-reflex between the ascending and descending phases of full-wave rectified and averaged soleus electromyographic (EMG) activity. The H-reflex amplitude was significantly increased and decreased during the ascending and descending phases more than under resting control conditions, respectively. The reduction of SEP amplitude was 49% for the ascending phase and 83% for the descending phases with respect to the resting situation. Modulation of SEP during the ascending and descending phases was robustly retained even during ischemic nerve blockade of large diameter afferent fibers. These findings suggest that the transmission of afferent inputs from muscle spindles to motoneurons and to the somatosensory cortex during fast isometric contraction of the plantar flexor is regulated in a time-dependent fashion by descending commands.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology