Role of peripheral afference during acquisition of a complex coordination task

Carson, RG, Smethurst, CJ, Forner, M, Meichenbaum, DP and Mackey, DC (2002) Role of peripheral afference during acquisition of a complex coordination task. Experimental Brain Research, 144 4: 496-505. doi:10.1007/s00221-002-1063-3

Author Carson, RG
Smethurst, CJ
Forner, M
Meichenbaum, DP
Mackey, DC
Title Role of peripheral afference during acquisition of a complex coordination task
Journal name Experimental Brain Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0014-4819
Publication date 2002
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00221-002-1063-3
Volume 144
Issue 4
Start page 496
End page 505
Total pages 10
Editor R. F. Schmidt
V. J. Wilson
Place of publication Berlin
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Subject C1
321403 Motor Control
780108 Behavioural and cognitive sciences
1109 Neurosciences
1702 Cognitive Sciences
Abstract It has long been supposed that the interference observed in certain patterns of coordination is mediated, at least in part, by peripheral afference from the moving limbs. We manipulated the level of afferent input, arising from movement of the opposite limb, during the acquisition of a complex coordination task. Participants learned to generate flexion and extension movements of the right wrist, of 75degrees amplitude, that were a quarter cycle out of phase with a 1-Hz sinusoidal visual reference signal. On separate trials, the left wrist either was at rest, or was moved passively by a torque motor through 50degrees, 75degrees or 100degrees, in synchrony with the reference signal. Five acquisition sessions were conducted on successive days. A retention session was conducted I week later. Performance was initially superior when the opposite limb was moved passively than when it was static. The amplitude and frequency of active movement were lower in the static condition than in the driven conditions and the variation in the relative phase relation across trials was greater than in the driven conditions. In addition, the variability of amplitude, frequency and the relative phase relation during each trial was greater when the opposite limb was static than when driven. Similar effects were expressed in electromyograms. The most marked and consistent differences in the accuracy and consistency of performance (defined in terms of relative phase) were between the static condition and the condition in which the left wrist was moved through 50degrees. These outcomes were exhibited most prominently during initial exposure to the task. Increases in task performance during the acquisition period, as assessed by a number of kinematic variables, were generally well described by power functions. In addition, the recruitment of extensor carpi radialis (ECR), and the degree of co-contraction of flexor carpi radialis and ECR, decreased during acquisition. Our results indicate that, in an appropriate task context, afferent feedback from the opposite limb, even when out of phase with the focal movement, may have a positive influence upon the stability of coordination.
Keyword Neurosciences
Voluntary Movement
Upper Limb
Rhythmic Movement
H-reflex Modulation
Instantaneous Frequency
Proprioceptive Control
Corticospinal Input
Rhythmic Movements
Passive Movement
Leg Movement
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 20 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 20 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 18:10:01 EST