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Experimental investigations of control principles of involuntary movement: a comprehensive review of the Kohnstamm phenomenon

De Havas, J; Gomi, H; Haggard, P; (2017) Experimental investigations of control principles of involuntary movement: a comprehensive review of the Kohnstamm phenomenon. Experimental Brain Research 10.1007/s00221-017-4950-3. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The Kohnstamm phenomenon refers to the observation that if one pushes the arm hard outwards against a fixed surface for about 30 s, and then moves away from the surface and relaxes, an involuntary movement of the arm occurs, accompanied by a feeling of lightness. Central, peripheral and hybrid theories of the Kohnstamm phenomenon have been advanced. Afferent signals may be irrelevant if purely central theories hold. Alternatively, according to peripheral accounts, altered afferent signalling actually drives the involuntary movement. Hybrid theories suggest afferent signals control a centrally-programmed aftercontraction via negative position feedback control or positive force feedback control. The Kohnstamm phenomenon has provided an important scientific method for comparing voluntary with involuntary movement, both with respect to subjective experience, and for investigating whether involuntary movements can be brought under voluntary control. A full review of the literature reveals that a hybrid model best explains the Kohnstamm phenomenon. On this model, a central adaptation interacts with afferent signals at multiple levels of the motor hierarchy. The model assumes that a Kohnstamm generator sends output via the same pathways as voluntary movement, yet the resulting movement feels involuntary due to a lack of an efference copy to cancel against sensory inflow. This organisation suggests the Kohnstamm phenomenon could represent an amplification of neuromotor processes normally involved in automatic postural maintenance. Future work should determine which afferent signals contribute to the Kohnstamm phenomenon, the location of the Kohnstamm generator, and the principle of feedback control operating during the aftercontraction.

Type: Article
Title: Experimental investigations of control principles of involuntary movement: a comprehensive review of the Kohnstamm phenomenon
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00221-017-4950-3
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00221-017-4950-3
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is an open access publication. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Action awareness, Action inhibition, Aftercontraction, Involuntary movement, Muscle afferents, Posture
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549496
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