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Monosynaptic reflexes in falling man.
  1. R Greenwood,
  2. A Hopkins


    We have examined peripheral proprioceptive input during fall in man. The first 80 ms of unexpected free fall, both in a parachute harness and while seated, has been studied using the monosynaptic Hoffman (H) and Achilles tendon (T) reflexes. Facilitation of the H reflex begins about 30 to 40 ms after release, representing the onset of motor neurone facilitation before the electromyographic activity which begins about 80 ms after release. Earlier facilitation of the T reflex may represent spindle excitation due to change in muscle shape as suggested by Matthews and Whiteside (1960), but the T reflex inhibition described by these authors after 50 ms of seated fall is probably a purely mechanical phenomenon.

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