Document Type




Format of Original

13 p.

Publication Date



Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Source Publication

PLoS One

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133561


The purpose of this study was to understand how stretch-related sensory feedback from an antagonist muscle affects agonist muscle output at different contraction levels in healthy adults. Ten young (25.3 ± 2.4 years), healthy subjects performed constant isometric knee flexion contractions (agonist) at 6 torque levels: 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30%, and 40% of their maximal voluntary contraction. For half of the trials, subjects received patellar tendon taps (antagonist sensory feedback) during the contraction. We compared error in targeted knee flexion torque and hamstring muscle activity, with and without patellar tendon tapping, across the 6 torque levels. At lower torque levels (5%, 10%, and 15%), subjects produced greater knee torque error following tendon tapping compared with the same torque levels without tendon tapping. In contrast, we did not find any difference in torque output at higher target levels (20%, 30%, and 40%) between trials with and without tendon tapping. We also observed a load-dependent increase in the magnitude of agonist muscle activity after tendon taps, with no associated load-dependent increase in agonist and antagonist co-activation, or reflex inhibition from the antagonist tapping. The findings suggest that at relatively low muscle activity there is a deficiency in the ability to correct motor output after sensory disturbances, and cortical centers (versus sub-cortical) are likely involved.


Published version. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0133561. DOI.

© 2015 Onushko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.