Motor Unit Recruitment - Proportional Control of Muscle Force

Proportional Control of Muscle Force

The distribution of motor unit size is such that there is an inverse relationship between the number of motor units and the force they generate (i.e., the number of muscle fibers per motor unit). Thus, there are many small motor units and progressively fewer larger motor units. This means that at low levels of recruitment, the force increment due to recruitment is small, whereas in forceful contractions, the force increment becomes much larger. Thus the ratio between the force increment produced by adding an additional motor unit and the force threshold at which that unit is recruited remains relatively constant.

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