4 years ago

Effects of hand configuration on muscle force coordination, co-contraction and concomitant intermuscular coupling during maximal isometric flexion of the fingers

David Amarantini, Eric Berton, Camille Charissou, Laurent Vigouroux, Robin Baurès



The mechanisms governing the control of musculoskeletal redundancy remain to be fully understood. The hand is highly redundant, and shows different functional role of extensors according to its configuration for a same functional task of finger flexion. Through intermuscular coherence analysis combined with hand musculoskeletal modelling during maximal isometric hand contractions, our aim was to better understand the neural mechanisms underlying the control of muscle force coordination and agonist–antagonist co-contraction.


Thirteen participants performed maximal isometric flexions of the fingers in two configurations: power grip (Power) and finger-pressing on a surface (Press). Hand kinematics and force/moment measurements were used as inputs in a musculoskeletal model of the hand to determine muscular tensions and co-contraction. EMG–EMG coherence analysis was performed between wrist and finger flexors and extensor muscle pairs in alpha, beta and gamma frequency bands.


Concomitantly with tailored muscle force coordination and increased co-contraction between Press and Power (mean difference: 48.08%; p < 0.05), our results showed muscle-pair-specific modulation of intermuscular coupling, characterized by pair-specific modulation of EMG–EMG coherence between Power and Press (p < 0.05), and a negative linear association between co-contraction and intermuscular coupling for the ECR/FCR agonist–antagonist muscle pair (r = − 0.65; p < 0.05).


This study brings new evidence that pair-specific modulation of EMG–EMG coherence is related to modulation of muscle force coordination during hand contractions. Our results highlight the functional importance of intermuscular coupling as a mechanism contributing to the control of muscle force synergies and agonist–antagonist co-contraction.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-017-3718-6

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-017-3718-6

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