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Discharge rate modulation of trapezius motor units differs for voluntary contractions and instructed muscle rest

Stephenson, Jennifer L., Christou, Evangelos A. and Maluf, Katrina S. 2011. Discharge rate modulation of trapezius motor units differs for voluntary contractions and instructed muscle rest. Experimental Brain Research 208 (2) , pp. 203-215. 10.1007/s00221-010-2471-4

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Abstract

This study examined discharge rate modulation at respiratory (0–0.5 Hz) and beta (16–32 Hz) frequencies in trapezius motor units active during voluntary contractions and during periods of instructed rest under conditions of low and high psychosocial stress. In separate sessions, single motor unit activity was recorded from the trapezius muscle of healthy women during low-intensity voluntary contractions and during periods of instructed muscle rest that followed voluntary contractions. The level of psychosocial stress during periods of instructed muscle rest was manipulated using a verbal math task combined with social evaluative threat which increased perceived anxiety, heart rate, and blood pressure (P ≤ 0.002). Discharge rate modulation was quantified by the mean power of motor unit discharge rate profiles within frequency bands of interest. Under low stress conditions, motor units active during instructed rest had greater power at 0–0.5 Hz (P = 0.002) and less power at 16–32 Hz (P = 0.009) compared to those active during voluntary contraction. Exposure to the stressor increased the amount of motor unit activity during instructed rest (P = 0.021) but did not alter the power of discharge rate modulation at 0–0.5 Hz (P = 0.391) or 16–32 Hz (P = 0.089). These results indicate that sustained motor unit activity during periods of instructed muscle rest has a lesser contribution from inputs at beta frequencies and a greater contribution from inputs at respiratory frequencies than present during low-intensity voluntary contractions. Furthermore, increases in motor unit activity when exposed to stressors during periods of instructed rest are not caused by changes in inputs at respiratory or beta frequencies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Motor unit Trapezius Beta oscillation Respiration Stress Electromyography
ISSN: 0014-4819
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:36
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/97508

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