From activity to rest: gating of excitatory autogenetic afferences from the relaxing muscle in man

M. Schieppati, P. Crenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The changes in reflex excitability of the motoneurones to the soleus (Sol) muscle occurring during and after voluntary releases of various duration from a constant plantar-torque level in isometric or isotonic conditions have been investigated in normal humans by means of the H-reflex and T-response. The amplitude of both reflexes during the release phase attains values lower than control (obtained in resting conditions) even in the presence of force and EMG activity; the maximal inhibition is reached at the end of the release; the reflexes recover gradually to control values over several seconds. The more abrupt is the release, the more inhibited is the reflex and the shorter is the time to recovery and vv. These results apply both in isometric and isotonic conditions. Activation of the antagonist muscles, sometimes occurring at the end of the fastest release, does not contribute to the H-reflex inhibition. Tonic isometric contractions and relative releases have also been evoked by the tonic vibration reflex (TVR). The H-reflex during the TVR-induced contractions were lower than control values, at variance with those obtained during the voluntary contractions, but their amplitudes during the releases had similar values and time-courses in both conditions, pointing to a common involved inhibitory mechanism. Any voluntary ballistic or ramp contraction taking place after a preceding release, in the period in which the H-reflexes were still inhibited, was not apparently influenced, despite the fact that H-reflexes evoked during the release-conditioned ramp contractions were significantly lower than when evoked during control ramps of similar characteristics. The results are discussed in terms of a premotoneuronal, possibly presynaptic, inhibitory mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1984


  • EMG
  • H-reflex
  • Motor termination
  • Presynaptic inhibition
  • Voluntary movement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'From activity to rest: gating of excitatory autogenetic afferences from the relaxing muscle in man'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this