Visual feedback can influence the force output by changing the power in frequencies below 1 Hz. However, it remains unknown whether visual guidance can help an individual reduce force variability voluntarily. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to determine whether an individual can voluntarily reduce force variability during constant contractions with visual guidance, and whether this reduction is associated with a decrease in the power of low-frequency oscillations (0–1 Hz) in force and muscle activity. Twenty young adults (27.6 ± 3.4 years) matched a force target of 15% MVC (maximal voluntary contraction) with ankle dorsiflexion. Participants performed six visually unrestricted contractions, from which we selected the trial with the least variability. Following, participants performed six visually guided contractions and were encouraged to reduce their force variability within two guidelines (±1 SD of the least variable unrestricted trial). Participants decreased the SD of force by 45% (P < 0.001) during the guided condition, without changing mean force (P > 0.2). The decrease in force variability was associated with decreased low-frequency oscillations (0–1 Hz) in force (R 2 = 0.59), which was associated with decreased low-frequency oscillations in EMG bursts (R 2 = 0.35). The reduction in low-frequency oscillations in EMG burst was positively associated with power in the interference EMG from 35 to 60 Hz (R 2 = 0.47). In conclusion, voluntary reduction of force variability is associated with decreased low-frequency oscillations in EMG bursts and consequently force output. We provide novel evidence that visual guidance allows healthy young adults to reduce force variability voluntarily likely by adjusting the low-frequency oscillations in the neural drive.
Experimental Brain Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 12, 2017
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