Title

Influence Of Fatigue On Hand Muscle Coordination And Emg-Emg Coherence During Three-Digit Grasping

Department

neurobiology

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Fingertip force control requires fine coordination of multiple hand muscles within and across the digits. While the modulation of neural drive to hand muscles as a function of force has been extensively studied, much less is known about the effects of fatigue on the coordination of simultaneously active hand muscles. We asked eight subjects to perform a fatiguing contraction by gripping a manipulandum with thumb, index, and middle fingers while matching an isometric target force (40% maximal voluntary force) for as long as possible. The coordination of 12 hand muscles was quantified as electromyographic (EMG) muscle activation pattern (MAP) vector and EMG-EMG coherence. We hypothesized that muscle fatigue would cause uniform changes in EMG amplitudeacross all muscles and an increase in EMG-EMG coherence in the higher frequency bands but with an invariant heterogeneous distribution across muscles. Muscle fatigue caused a 12.5% drop in the maximum voluntary contraction force (P < 0.05) at task failure and an increase in the SD of force (P < 0.01). Although EMG amplitude of all muscles increased during the fatiguing contraction (P < 0.001), the MAP vector orientation did not change, indicating that a similar muscle coordination pattern was used throughout the fatiguing contraction. Last, EMG-EMG coherence (0-35 Hz) was significantly greater at the end than at the beginning of the fatiguing contraction (P < 0.01) but was heterogeneously distributed across hand muscles. These findings suggest that similar mechanisms are involved for modulating and sustaining digit forces in nonfatiguing and fatiguing contractions, respectively. Copyright © 2010 The American Physiological Society.

Publication Date

12-1-2010

Publication Title

Journal of Neurophysiology

ISSN

00223077

Volume

104

Issue

6

First Page

3576

Last Page

3587

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1152/jn.00583.2010

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