Standard Article

Neural Control of Muscle Length and Tension

Handbook of Physiology, The Nervous System, Motor Control

  1. James C. Houk,
  2. W. Zev Rymer

Published Online: 1 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.cp010208

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Houk, J. C. and Rymer, W. Z. 2011. Neural Control of Muscle Length and Tension. Comprehensive Physiology. 257–323.

Author Information

  1. Department of Physiology, Northwestern University Medical and Dental Schools, Chicago, Illinois

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2011

Abstract

The sections in this article are:

  • 1
    Control Theory Concepts
    • 1.1
      Systems and Models
    • 1.2
      Control Systems
    • 1.3
      Feedback, Feedforward, and Adaptive Systems
    • 1.4
      Principle of Negative Feedback
    • 1.5
      Regulated Variables and Properties
    • 1.6
      Control Configurations
    • 1.7
      Summary
  • 2
    Hypotheses of Motor Servo Function
    • 2.1
      Salient Features of the Available Sensors
    • 2.2
      Follow-up Servo Hypothesis
    • 2.3
      Spindle Receptors as Model-Reference Error Detectors
    • 2.4
      Conditional Feedback and Servo Assistance
    • 2.5
      β-System and the Possibility for Zero Sensitivity
    • 2.6
      Stiffness Regulation
    • 2.7
      Summary Model
    • 2.8
      Adaptive Models
    • 2.9
      Summary
  • 3
    Muscle Mechanical Stiffness
    • 3.1
      Stiffness Definitions
    • 3.2
      Length Dependence
    • 3.3
      Recruitment of Motor Units
    • 3.4
      Rate Modulation of Motor Units
    • 3.5
      Instantaneous Stiffness and Short-Range Elasticity
    • 3.6
      Instantaneous Stiffness Beyond the Short-Range Region
    • 3.7
      Ramp Responses: Transient Properties and Nonlinearity
    • 3.8
      Natural Combinations of Recruitment and Rate Modulation
    • 3.9
      Summary
  • 4
    Central Pathways
    • 4.1
      Primary Ending Projections
    • 4.2
      Tendon Organ Projections
    • 4.3
      Projections From Secondary Endings and Group II Free Nerve Endings
    • 4.4
      Projections From Groups III and IV Free Nerve Endings
    • 4.5
      Clasp-Knife Reflex
    • 4.6
      Long-Loop Reflexes
    • 4.7
      Summary
  • 5
    Simplified Animal Models
    • 5.1
      Decerebrate Preparation
    • 5.2
      Spinal Preparation
    • 5.3
      Summary
  • 6
    Tonic Stretch Reflex in Functionally Isolated Muscles
    • 6.1
      Basic Features of the Stretch Reflex
    • 6.2
      Static Force-Length Relations
    • 6.3
      Normalized Stiffness
    • 6.4
      Mechanically and Neurally Mediated Components
    • 6.5
      Actions of Control Signals on the Motor Servo
    • 6.6
      Dependence of Incremental Stiffness on Initial Force
    • 6.7
      Loop Gain of Force Feedback
    • 6.8
      Summary
  • 7
    Static Regulatory Characteristics in Intact Subjects
    • 7.1
      Skeletal Mechanics and Coordinate Systems
    • 7.2
      Steady-State Responses to Changes in Load Force
    • 7.3
      Torque-Angle Relations
    • 7.4
      Equivalent Stiffness and the Concept of Composite Motor Servos
    • 7.5
      Effect of Instructional Set
    • 7.6
      Gain Variation vs. Gain Control
    • 7.7
      Summary
  • 8
    Dynamic Responses to Mechanical Disturbances
    • 8.1
      Dynamic Features of Force Development
    • 8.2
      Dependence of Transient Responses on Initial Force
    • 8.3
      Amplitude Dependence and Linearity
    • 8.4
      Asymmetry of Motor Servo Response
    • 8.5
      Compensation for Yielding
    • 8.6
      Predictive Compensation: Feedforward vs. Nonlinear Feedback Viewpoints
    • 8.7
      Vibration and the Stretch Reflex
    • 8.8
      Velocity Dependence and Damping
    • 8.9
      Summary
  • 9
    Implementation of Movement Commands
    • 9.1
      α-γ-Relations
    • 9.2
      Positional Stiffness Deduced From Spindle Relations
    • 9.3
      β-Innervation of Muscle Spindles
    • 9.4
      Analytical Approaches to Actions of α-, β-, and γ-Motoneurons
    • 9.5
      Equilibrium Point Control
    • 9.6
      Stiffness Regulation vs. Stiffness Control
    • 9.7
      Perturbations During Movement
    • 9.8
      Compliance, Load Compensation, and Biological Design
    • 9.9
      Summary