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Effects Of Combining Static And Dynamic Fusimotor Stimulation On The Response Of The Muscle Spindle Primary Ending To Sinusoidal Stretching.

M. Hulliger, P. Matthews, J. Noth
Published 1977 · Chemistry, Medicine

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1. A pair of fusimotor fibres, one static and the other dynamic, were stimulated simultaneously to test their combined action on the response of muscle spindle primary endings in the cat soleus to sinusoidal stretching. A frequency of 1 Hz was chiefly used, with a wide range of amplitudes (10 micronm‐2 mm). The response of the ending was assessed from the parameters of the sine fitted to its firing averaged throughout the course of the cycle; this was felt useful even though the responses to the larger stretches showed certain non‐linear features. 2. With small stretches (up to about 50 micronm amplitude) static action dominated, and the modulation of firing during conbined stimulation was little or no larger than that found during the static stimulation on its own, and much smaller than that found during the static stimulation on its own, and much smaller than that found during the dynamic stimulation. The phase of the response was, however, much the same for all three conditions. 3. With larger stretches the modulation with combined stimulation was intermediate between the values found on stimulating either fusimotor fibre on its own; the dynamic contribution increased progressively with the amplitude of stretching. 4. With larger stretches the phase of the response during combined stimulation was appreciably closer to that for static action than to that for dynamic action. But the differences between the various conditions were small (below 20 degrees) and seem attributable to various distortions of the response wave from away from a true sinusoid, rather than betokening a difference in the ratio of velocity to length sensitivity under the various conditions. This view was supported by the effects on phase of grading the rate of stimulation of one fusimotor fibre while holding that of the other constant. 5. Detailed comparison of the cycle histograms obtained under different conditions showed an interestingly asymmetrical pattern of summation and occlusion of the effects of the two kinds of fusimotor fibre. At the peak of the response to a large stretch static action summed with dynamic action, which was here the stronger, so that at this phase of the cycle the firing was greater with the combined stimulation than with either fibre on its own. But, in the trough of the response to the same stretch static action occluded any dynamic action, which was now the weaker, so that at this phase of the cycle the firing with combined stimulation was virtually the same as that with static stimulation on its own. With a small stretch, static action normally occluded dynamic action throughout the cycle; this is in line with the firing during static action now usually being greater than that during dynamic action for all phases of the cycle.
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