Human motor unit recordings: origins and insight into the integrated motor system☆

Publication year: 2011
Source: Brain Research, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Jacques, Duchateau , Roger M., Enoka

Soon after Edward Liddell [1895–1981] and Charles Sherrington [1857–1952] introduced the concept of a motor unit in 1925 and the necessary technology was developed, the recording of single motor unit activity became feasible in humans. It was quickly discovered by Edgar Adrian [1889–1977] and Detlev Bronk [1897–1975] that the force exerted by muscle during voluntary contractions was the result of the concurrent recruitment of motor units and modulation of the rate at which they discharged action potentials. Subsequent studies found that the relation between discharge frequency and motor unit force was characterized by a sigmoidal function. Based on observations on…