Comparison of external load compensation during rhythmic arm movements and rhythmic jaw movements in humans.
Experiments were performed on human elbow flexor and extensor muscles and jaw-opening and -closing muscles to observe the effect on rhythmic movements of sudden loading. The load was provided by an electromagnetic device, which simulated the appearance of a smoothly increasing spring-like load. The responses to this loading were compared in jaw and elbow movements and between expected and unexpected disturbances. All muscles showed electromyographic responses to unexpected perturbations, with latencies of approximately 65 ms in the arm muscles and 25 ms in the jaw. When loading was predictable, anticipatory responses started in arm muscles approximately 200 ms before and in jaw muscles 100 ms before the onset of loading. The reflex responses relative to the anticipatory responses were smaller for the arm muscles than for the jaw muscles. The reflex responses in the arm muscles were the same with unexpected and expected perturbations, whereas anticipation increased the reflex responses in the jaw muscles. Biceps brachii and triceps brachii showed similar sensory-induced responses and similar anticipatory responses. Jaw muscles differed, however, in that the reflex response was stronger in masseter than in digastric. It was concluded that reflex responses in the arm muscles cannot overcome the loading of the arm adequately, which is compensated by a large centrally programmed response when loading is predictable. The jaw muscles, particularly the jaw-closing muscles, tend to respond mainly through reflex loops, even when loading of the jaw is anticipated. The differences between the responses of the arm and the jaw muscles may be related to physical differences. For example, the jaw was decelerated more strongly by the load than the heavier arm. The jaw was decelerated strongly but briefly, <30 ms during jaw closing, indicating that muscle force increased before the onset of reflex activity. Apparently, the force-velocity properties of the jaw muscles have a stabilizing effect on the jaw and have this effect before sensory induced responses occur. The symmetrical responses in biceps and triceps indicate similar motor control of both arm muscles. The differences in reflex activity between masseter and digastric muscle indicate fundamental differences in sensory feedback to the jaw-closing muscle and jaw-opening muscle. (+info)
Haemangiopericytoma in the distal third of the arm.
A 49-year-old woman had a haemangiopericytoma in the distal third of the arm, which is an extremely rare location. There was no recurrence of the tumor 5 years after wide margin surgical excision. (+info)
Electromyographic correlates of learning an internal model of reaching movements.
Theoretical and psychophysical studies have suggested that humans learn to make reaching movements in novel dynamic environments by building specific internal models (IMs). Here we have found electromyographic correlates of internal model formation. We recorded EMG from four muscles as subjects learned to move a manipulandum that created systematic forces (a "force field"). We also simulated a biomechanical controller, which generated movements based on an adaptive IM of the inverse dynamics of the human arm and the manipulandum. The simulation defined two metrics of muscle activation. The first metric measured the component of the EMG of each muscle that counteracted the force field. We found that early in training, the field-appropriate EMG was driven by an error feedback signal. As subjects practiced, the peak of the field-appropriate EMG shifted temporally to earlier in the movement, becoming a feedforward command. The gradual temporal shift suggests that the CNS may use the delayed error-feedback response, which was likely to have been generated through spinal reflex circuits, as a template to learn a predictive feedforward response. The second metric quantified formation of the IM through changes in the directional bias of each muscle's spatial EMG function, i.e., EMG as a function of movement direction. As subjects practiced, co-activation decreased, and the directional bias of each muscle's EMG function gradually rotated by an amount that was specific to the field being learned. This demonstrates that formation of an IM can be represented through rotations in the spatial tuning of muscle EMG functions. Combined with other recent work linking spatial tunings of EMG and motor cortical cells, these results suggest that rotations in motor cortical tuning functions could underlie representation of internal models in the CNS. (+info)
Muscle and movement representations in the primary motor cortex.
What aspects of movement are represented in the primary motor cortex (M1): relatively low-level parameters like muscle force, or more abstract parameters like handpath? To examine this issue, the activity of neurons in M1 was recorded in a monkey trained to perform a task that dissociates three major variables of wrist movement: muscle activity, direction of movement at the wrist joint, and direction of movement in space. A substantial group of neurons in M1 (28 out of 88) displayed changes in activity that were muscle-like. Unexpectedly, an even larger group of neurons in M1 (44 out of 88) displayed changes in activity that were related to the direction of wrist movement in space independent of the pattern of muscle activity that generated the movement. Thus, both "muscles" and "movements" appear to be strongly represented in M1. (+info)
Central representation of time during motor learning.
This study stemmed from the observation that the brain of human as well as nonhuman primates is capable of forming and memorizing remarkably accurate internal representations of the dynamics of the arm. These dynamics establish a functional relation between applied force and ensuing arm motion, a relation that generally is quite complex and nonlinear. Current evidence shows that the motor control system is capable of adapting to perturbing forces that depend on motion variables such as position, velocity, and acceleration. The experiments we report here were aimed at establishing whether or not the motor system also may adapt to forces that depend explicitly on time rather than on motion variables. Surprisingly, the experiments suggest a negative answer. When asked to compensate for a predictable and repeated time-varying pattern of disturbing forces, subjects learned to counteract the disturbance by producing forces that did not depend on time but on the velocity and the position of the arm. We conclude from this evidence that time and time-dependent dynamics are not explicitly represented within the neural structures that are responsible for motor adaptation. Although our findings are not sufficient to rule out the presence of a timing structure within the central nervous system, they are consistent with other investigations that conspicuously failed to find evidence for such a central clock. (+info)
Mapping the network for planning: a correlational PET activation study with the Tower of London task.
We used the Tower of London task (TOL) and H(2)(15)O-PET to map the network of brain structures involved in planning. Six healthy right-handed subjects had 12 measurements of relative regional cerebral blood flow (rrCBF) during six conditions, each performed twice. There was one rest condition, and five sets of TOL problems at different complexity levels, performed on a touch-sensitive computer monitor with the right arm. Complexity was defined as the number of moves required to solve each problem. Activation was analysed in two ways: a category analysis comparing levels of rrCBF during rest and task was done to identify all structures involved in performance of the TOL; and a correlation analysis was carried out to delineate a subset of structures where the levels of rrCBF correlated with task complexity. Activated brain areas in which rrCBF increases did not correlate with complexity could be grouped into: (i) regions belonging to the dorsal stream of visual input processing, namely visual cortical areas 17, 18 and 19, and posterior parietal cortical areas 7 and 40; and (ii) regions involved in the execution and sequencing of arm movements (right cerebellum, left primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area). Brain regions where levels of rrCBF correlated with task complexity included lateral premotor cortex (area 6), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (areas 32 and 24), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (areas 9 and 46) bilaterally, and right dorsal caudate nucleus. We propose that dorsolateral prefrontal, lateral premotor, anterior cingulate and caudate areas form a network for the planning of movement that interacts with brain areas primarily involved in visual processing and movement execution. (+info)
The risk of angiosarcoma following primary breast cancer.
Lymphangiosarcoma of the upper extremity is a rare and aggressive tumour reported to occur following post-mastectomy lymphoedema (Stewart-Treves syndrome). Haemangiosarcoma, a related rare tumour, has occasionally been reported to occur in the breast following irradiation. We conducted a case-control study using the University of Southern California-Cancer Surveillance Program, the population-based cancer registry for Los Angeles County, to evaluate the relationship between invasive female breast cancer and subsequent upper extremity or chest lymphangiosarcoma and haemangiosarcoma together referred to as angiosarcoma. Cases were females diagnosed between 1972 and 1995 with angiosarcoma of the upper extremity (n = 20) or chest (n = 48) who were 25 years of age or older and residing in Los Angeles County when diagnosed. Other sarcomas at the same anatomic sites were also studied. Controls were females diagnosed with cancers other than sarcoma during the same time period (n = 266,444). Cases and controls were then compared with respect to history of a prior invasive epithelial breast cancer. A history of breast cancer increased the risk of upper extremity angiosarcoma by more than 59-fold (odds ratio [OR] = 59.3, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 21.9-152.8). A strong increase in risk after breast cancer was also observed for angiosarcoma of the chest and breast (OR = 11.6, 95% CI = 4.3-26.1) and for other sarcomas of the chest and breast (OR = 3.3, 95% CI = 1.1-1.7). (+info)
Muscle spindle activity in the affected upper limb after a unilateral stroke.
Weakness, loss of dexterity and exaggerated reflex responses to proprioceptive and cutaneous stimuli are typical features of hemiparetic stroke. Since the extent to which altered fusimotor drive contributes to these deficits has not been established, this study was designed to assess fusimotor function in stroke patients by comparing three aspects of muscle spindle afferent behaviour (background discharge rate, responses to reflex inputs and responses to voluntary contractions) in 11 subjects affected by recent cerebrovascular lesions, with those in 18 healthy volunteers. The mean background discharge rates of muscle spindle afferents in the radial nerve when subjects attempted to relax the recorded limb completely were 6.6 +/- 5.3 Hz (n = 26) in patients and 6.4 +/- 6.1 Hz (n = 76) in control subjects. The variability of discharge rate of active afferents was also similar (0.12 +/- 0.07 and 0.09 +/- 0. 10, respectively). Reflex activation of fusimotor neurons was assessed using trains of electrical stimuli to the superficial radial nerve or to the palm of the hand, and using natural skin stimuli. Neither type of cutaneous stimulation affected muscle spindle afferent discharge in the absence of an EMG response. During deliberate voluntary contractions muscle spindle discharge rates were enhanced similarly in both the control and patient groups, indicating that volitional drives could access fusimotor neurons in the patients. Qualitatively, spindle behaviour was similar in patients and control subjects. These findings suggest that fusimotor function is not disturbed any more or less than skeletomotor function in hemiparetic patients and it is concluded that fusimotor dysfunction probably contributes little to their deficit. (+info)