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Neurology Report

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Various rehabilitation techniques encourage eliciting automatic reactions in the hope that muscle activations elicited in this way will influence voluntary movement. Unlike voluntary movements that consist of willed initiation and involvement of descending corticofugal and and basal ganglia pathways, automatic postural reactions resulting from external perturbations primarily involve peripheral receptors arising from the vestibular apparatus, muscles, joints, and eyes. We were interested to determine whether voluntary and automatic movements, which are initiated very differently, involved similar temporal activation of muscles and the same pattern of reciprocal inhibition between agonist and antagonist motor neuron pools.