Muscle temperature, contractile speed, and motoneuron firing rates during human voluntary contractions

B. Bigland-Ritchie, C. K. Thomas, C. L. Rice, J. V. Howarth, J. J. Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

A study was made of motoneuron firing rates and mechanical contractile parameters during maximum voluntary contraction of human hand muscles. A comparison of muscles that had been fatigued after a 60-s maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) with muscles that were cooled by ~5°C showed that the contractile properties, in particular the rates of contraction and relaxation, were similarly affected in both conditions. In contrast, the motoneuron firing rate was affected differently by the two treatments. In the case of the fatigued muscles the motoneuron firing rate was reduced by 36%, as was expected from previous studies, but in the case of the cooled muscles, there was no significant change in the motoneuron firing rate. We conclude that the reflex reduction in the motoneuron firing rate seen in the fatigued muscle is not triggered directly by a change in the mechanical properties of the muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2457-2461
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume73
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992

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Keywords

  • first dorsal interosseous
  • maximum voluntary contraction
  • muscle fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Bigland-Ritchie, B., Thomas, C. K., Rice, C. L., Howarth, J. V., & Woods, J. J. (1992). Muscle temperature, contractile speed, and motoneuron firing rates during human voluntary contractions. Journal of applied physiology, 73(6), 2457-2461.