Quantification of peripherally induced reciprocal activation during voluntary muscle contraction

Martha Flanders, Paul J. Cordo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A new method was developed to compare patterns of coactivation and reciprocal activation of antagonistic muscles during different experimental conditions. Pure coactivation was defined as a muscle activity pattern where there was never a difference between the slope of the agonist EMG record and the slope of the antagonist EMG record. The degree of reciprocal activation was defined as being proportional to the average absolute value of the difference between these two slope values. Use of this method for the comparison of muscle activity patterns during isometric contractions and unexpected movements showed that peripheral input related to agonist unloading and antagonist stretch significantly increased reciprocal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalElectroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1987

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I Supported by National Research Service Award NS07661. 2 Supported by USPHS Grant AN31017 and by a grant from The Medical Research Foundation of Oregon, Inc.


  • Coactivation
  • Electromyography
  • Isometric contraction
  • Reciprocal activation
  • Triphasic pattern
  • Voluntary movement


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