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To document the activity of cutaneous mechanoreceptors in the glabrous skin of the foot sole, tungsten microelectrodes were inserted through the popliteal fossa and into the tibial nerve of thirteen healthy human subjects. A total of 104 cutaneous mechanoreceptors were identified in the glabrous skin of the foot. This sample consisted of 15 slow adapting(More)
A startle stimulus has been shown to elicit a ballistic response in a reaction time (RT) task at very short latencies without involvement of the cerebral cortex (J. Valls-Sole, J. C. Rothwell, F. Gooulard, G. Cossu, & E. Munoz, 1999). The present authors examined the nature of the startle response. A simple RT task was used in which 8 participants performed(More)
Quick voluntary responses to environmental stimuli are required of people on a daily basis. These movements have long been thought to be controlled via cortical loops involving processing of the stimulus and generation of a suitable response. Recent experiments have shown that in simple reaction time (RT) tasks, the appropriate response can be elicited much(More)
Recent experiments pairing a startling stimulus with a simple reaction time (RT) task have shown that when participants are startled, a prepared movement may be triggered earlier in comparison to voluntary initiation (Carlsen et al. 2003, in press; Siegmund et al. 2001; Valls-Solé et al. 1999). The use of this paradigm in experiments may provide new(More)
Prior knowledge of potentially slippery conditions has been shown to alter normal human gait in slip and fall experiments. Here we quantify the effects of two aspects of prior knowledge - awareness of a possible slip and prior slip experience - on normal gait. Sixty-eight subjects (40F, 28M) each walked over 48 high-friction surfaces (control trials) and 12(More)
Recent studies using a reaction time (RT) task have reported that a preprogrammed response could be triggered directly by a startling acoustic stimulus (115-124 dB) presented along with the usual "go" signal. It has been suggested that details of the upcoming response could be stored subcortically and are accessible by the startle volley, directly eliciting(More)
The representation of joint position at rest and during movement was investigated in 44 muscle spindle primary afferents originating from the extensor carpi radialis brevis (ECRb) and extensor digitorum (ED) of normal human subjects. Position sensitivity was estimated for each afferent, and 43 of 44 were position sensitive. In each trial, six sequential(More)
An experiment is reported that investigated the effects of an auditory startling stimulus on a compound movement task. Previous findings have shown that, in a targeting task, a secondary movement can be initiated based on the proprioceptive information provided by a primary movement. Studies involving the presentation of a startling stimulus have shown that(More)
Stochastic vestibular stimulation (SVS) can be used to study the postural responses to unpredictable vestibular perturbations. The present study seeks to determine if stochastic vestibular stimulation elicits lower limb muscular responses and to estimate the frequency characteristics of these vestibulo-motor responses in humans. Fourteen healthy subjects(More)
Stochastic resonance (SR) occurs when the detection of a subthreshold signal is aided by the presence of random energy fluctuations in the signal modality, commonly called noise. SR is counterintuitive because such noise usually worsens performance. Nonetheless, SR has been demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally in human sensory systems. Using a(More)