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Open Access Publications from the University of California

About the origin of cerebral somatosensory potentials evoked by Achilles tendon taps in humans

  • Author(s): Cohen, L
  • Starr, A
  • et al.

This study examines the effects of ischemic hypoxia and cooling of the leg, muscle contraction and vibration on cerebral potentials evoked by Achilles tendon taps and posterior tibial nerve stimulation to obtain indirect evidence leading to the identification of receptors activated by tendon taps. Experiments performed during ischemia of the leg showed that these receptors lie between the ankle and the knee. Cooling of the leg showed that they are located deep in muscles or bone. Experiments performed during vibration and muscle contraction suggest that muscle stretch receptors provide the afferent input responsible for Achilles tendon tap evoked potentials. All of these experiments point to primary muscle spindles in the proximal gastrocnemius-soleus muscle belly as the main source of afferent input for evoking cerebral potentials to Achilles tendon taps in humans. © 1985.

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