Fatigue pp 271-278 | Cite as

Role of Muscle Afferents in the Inhibition of Motoneurons During Fatigue

  • S. J. Garland
  • M. P. Kaufman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 384)


In conscious humans, fatiguing muscular contractions are accompanied by a decrease in the discharge rate of alpha motoneurons. The association between alpha motoneuron discharge rate and the generation of force by skeletal muscle has been called “muscle wisdom” (Marsden et al., 1983). Its purpose is believed to ensure that central neural drive to skeletal muscle, which is fatigued, matches that needed to generate the required force. In addition, muscle wisdom may be one mechanism that functions either to decrease or to postpone central neural fatigue (Enoka & Stuart, 1992). Bigland-Ritchie and colleagues (1986) have suggested that a reflex arising from fatigued skeletal muscle is responsible, at least in part, for muscle wisdom. This chapter has two purposes. The first is to evaluate the evidence that a reflex arising from fatigued skeletal muscle causes muscle wisdom, and the second is to examine the discharge properties of muscle afferents to determine which ones are most likely to initiate reflexly this phenomenon.


Maximal Voluntary Contraction Muscle Spindle Apply Physiology Muscle Afferents Reflex Inhibition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Garland
    • 1
  • M. P. Kaufman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy, Elborn CollegeUniversity of Western OntarioOntarioCanada
  2. 2.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine and Human PhysiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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