The effect of crossed reflex responses on dynamic stability during locomotion

Sabata Gervasio, Uwe G. Kersting, Dario Farina, Natalie Mrachacz-Kersting

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

9 Citationer (Scopus)


In recent studies, we demonstrated that a neural pathway within the human spinal cord allows direct communication between muscles located in the opposing limb. Short-latency crossed responses (SLCRs) are elicited in the contralateral triceps surae at an onset of 40-69 ms following electrical stimulation of the ipsilateral tibial nerve (iTN). The SLCRs are significantly affected by lesions of the central nervous system where the patients are unable to attain normal walking symmetry. The aim of this study was to elucidate the functionality of SLCRs by investigating their effects on the center of pressure (CoP) and pressure distribution. SLCRs were elicited by iTN stimulation at the end of the ipsilateral swing phase while the participants (n = 8) walked on a treadmill. CoP location and pressure distribution on the sole of the contralateral foot were recorded using instrumented insoles inserted bilaterally in the participant's shoes. The SLCR induced a significant displacement of the CoP toward the medial and anterior direction, associated with a significant increase in pressure at the level of the first metatarsal head. The SLCR contributed to dynamic stability, accelerating the propulsion phase of the contralateral leg and thus preparing for a faster step in the event that the ipsilateral leg is not able to support body weight. The results presented here provide new insight into the functionality of SLCRs, introducing the perspective that training these reflexes, as shown successfully for other reflex pathways, would increase dynamic stability in patients with impaired locomotion.

TidsskriftJournal of Neurophysiology
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)1034-1040
StatusUdgivet - 2015


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