An Integrated Model of the Mammalian Muscle Spindle
A large number of experiments on mammalian muscle spindles, typically based on some combination of stimulation of dynamic and/or static gamma efferents with imposed length variations, have illustrated a range of functional properties and characterised muscle spindles as specialised mechanoreceptors (reviewed by Matthews, 1972; Hunt, 1990). A number of theories have been formulated to explain various aspects of experimental observations in terms of likely receptor mechanisms, which span a range from mechanical to ionic processes. Similar concepts have been applied in the analysis of other mechanoreceptors (Teorell, 1971). In most cases some combination of mechanical and ionic processes appears to give the most satisfactory general description of receptor behaviour. It can therefore be expected, that the same should apply for muscle spindles.
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