Neural Mechanisms Underlying Muscle Synergies Involved in the Control of the Human Hand

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194019
Title:
Neural Mechanisms Underlying Muscle Synergies Involved in the Control of the Human Hand
Author:
McIsaac, Tara
Issue Date:
2006
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The dexterity of the human hand depends largely on the ability to move the fingers independently, the execution of which requires the coordination of multiple muscles. How these muscle ensembles are recruited by the central nervous system is not clear. Therefore, the objective of this dissertation was to identify some of the neural mechanisms whereby certain hand muscles are recruited into functional groups, or muscle synergies, needed for the generation of specific hand and finger movements.We characterized the organization of synaptic inputs onto the motor neurons supplying different compartments of a multi-tendoned finger flexor, the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS). We found that the motor neurons controlling different finger compartments of the FDS do not receive entirely segregated inputs, and that the motor neurons supplying adjacent compartments receive substantially more common synaptic input than motor neurons supplying compartments further apart. The FDS and another multi-tendoned finger flexor, the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP), both insert onto each finger and function together to flex the fingers. Surprisingly, we found that the motor neurons controlling the compartments of FDS and FDP to the same finger receive completely independent inputs, despite similar mechanical functions of the two muscles. Thus, there is more neural coupling between motor neurons supplying compartments of the same muscle that move different fingers than there is between motor neurons supplying the compartments of two different muscles that move the same finger.Although the motor neurons supplying the flexors of the tips of the thumb [flexor pollicis longus (FPL)] and index finger [index compartment of the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP2)] receive substantial shared synaptic input during a precision grip task, the removal of the normal tactile feedback from the digit pads did not change the amount of common input to the two motor neuron pools, indicating these last-order divergent neurons do not require tactile afferent inputs for activation. Finally, in contrast to the substantial shared input to motor neurons supplying these two extrinsic muscles (FPL and FDP2), the motor neurons supplying two intrinsic muscles of the thumb [adductor pollicis (AdP)] and index finger [first dorsal interosseous (FDI)] were shown to receive few shared inputs during precision grip.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Motor Unit; Synchrony; Hand; Muscle Synergies; Motoneuron; Prehension
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Neuroscience; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Fuglevand, Andrew J.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleNeural Mechanisms Underlying Muscle Synergies Involved in the Control of the Human Handen_US
dc.creatorMcIsaac, Taraen_US
dc.contributor.authorMcIsaac, Taraen_US
dc.date.issued2006en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe dexterity of the human hand depends largely on the ability to move the fingers independently, the execution of which requires the coordination of multiple muscles. How these muscle ensembles are recruited by the central nervous system is not clear. Therefore, the objective of this dissertation was to identify some of the neural mechanisms whereby certain hand muscles are recruited into functional groups, or muscle synergies, needed for the generation of specific hand and finger movements.We characterized the organization of synaptic inputs onto the motor neurons supplying different compartments of a multi-tendoned finger flexor, the flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS). We found that the motor neurons controlling different finger compartments of the FDS do not receive entirely segregated inputs, and that the motor neurons supplying adjacent compartments receive substantially more common synaptic input than motor neurons supplying compartments further apart. The FDS and another multi-tendoned finger flexor, the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP), both insert onto each finger and function together to flex the fingers. Surprisingly, we found that the motor neurons controlling the compartments of FDS and FDP to the same finger receive completely independent inputs, despite similar mechanical functions of the two muscles. Thus, there is more neural coupling between motor neurons supplying compartments of the same muscle that move different fingers than there is between motor neurons supplying the compartments of two different muscles that move the same finger.Although the motor neurons supplying the flexors of the tips of the thumb [flexor pollicis longus (FPL)] and index finger [index compartment of the flexor digitorum profundus (FDP2)] receive substantial shared synaptic input during a precision grip task, the removal of the normal tactile feedback from the digit pads did not change the amount of common input to the two motor neuron pools, indicating these last-order divergent neurons do not require tactile afferent inputs for activation. Finally, in contrast to the substantial shared input to motor neurons supplying these two extrinsic muscles (FPL and FDP2), the motor neurons supplying two intrinsic muscles of the thumb [adductor pollicis (AdP)] and index finger [first dorsal interosseous (FDI)] were shown to receive few shared inputs during precision grip.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectMotor Uniten_US
dc.subjectSynchronyen_US
dc.subjectHanden_US
dc.subjectMuscle Synergiesen_US
dc.subjectMotoneuronen_US
dc.subjectPrehensionen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineNeuroscienceen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairFuglevand, Andrew J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberLevine, Richard B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberKoshland, Gail F.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTolbert, Leslie P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSherman, Scott J.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest1680en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659746281en_US
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