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Title: Interjoint coupling of position sense reflects sensory contributions of biarticular muscles
Perception of limb position and motion combines sensory information from spindles in muscles that span one joint (monoarticulars) and two joints (biarticulars). This anatomical organization should create interactions in estimating limb position. We developed two models, one with only monoarticulars and one with both monoarticulars and biarticulars, to explore how biarticulars influence estimates of arm position in hand ( x, y) and joint ( shoulder, elbow) coordinates. In hand coordinates, both models predicted larger medial-lateral than proximal-distal errors, although the model with both muscle groups predicted that biarticulars would reduce this bias. In contrast, the two models made significantly different predictions in joint coordinates. The model with only monoarticulars predicted that errors would be uniformly distributed because estimates of angles at each joint would be independent. In contrast, the model that included biarticulars predicted that errors would be coupled between the two joints, resulting in smaller errors for combinations of flexion or extension at both joints and larger errors for combinations of flexion at one joint and extension at the other joint. We also carried out two experiments to examine errors made by human subjects during an arm position matching task in which a robot passively moved one arm to more » different positions and the subjects moved their other arm to mirror-match each position. Errors in hand coordinates were similar to those predicted by both models. Critically, however, errors in joint coordinates were only similar to those predicted by the model with monoarticulars and biarticulars. These results highlight how biarticulars influence perceptual estimates of limb position by helping to minimize medial-lateral errors. NEW & NOTEWORTHY It is unclear how sensory information from muscle spindles located within muscles spanning multiple joints influences perception of body position and motion. We address this issue by comparing errors in estimating limb position made by human subjects with predicted errors made by two musculoskeletal models, one with only monoarticulars and one with both monoarticulars and biarticulars. We provide evidence that biarticulars produce coupling of errors between joints, which help to reduce errors. « less
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Neurophysiology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1223 to 1235
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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