Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia (MANUSCRIPT RECEIVED 25 JANUARY 1994, ACCEPTED 1 APRIL 1994) INTRODUCTION A recent review article in this journal (Noble, 1992) concluded that 'The effects of stretching actively contracting muscle remain perplexing and unexplained ... The puzzlement of Deleze (Deleze, 1961) is reiterated with little modification by myself, after reviewing the literature of the intervening 30 years!' This paper is intended to show that an explanation is available to account for all the features that puzzled Deleze, Noble and others, and that evidence to support it is growing. BASIC OBSERVATION The basic observation has been reported many times, as referenced by Noble, and can be summarized as follows. When a muscle or muscle fibre is activated at a length on the descending limb of the length-tension diagram, and then further lengthened while active, the tension rises during the the stretch and then falls after the stretch stops, but, however long the stimulation is continued, tension never falls to the value that the muscle generates when stimulated while isometric at the longer length. The question then becomes, 'What is the difference between a fibre which has been activated
Experimental Physiology – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1994
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