Sense of extension force and angle of the knee joint are correlated between two generations of men
Numerous motor abilities depend on the activity of proprioceptors, which has been suggested to be genetically determined. To test this hypothesis, the control of torque generated by knee extensors and knee position was studied in 30 father–son pairs both before and immediately after running. After stabilisation of the participant in a sitting position, the knee joint of his dominant leg was flexed to 90°, and the maximal voluntary torque (MVT) of the dominant knee extensors under static conditions was measured. The participant then tried five times to produce 50% of the MVT. Next, the participant extended the knee to 45° five times without visual control. Significant correlations between the reproducibility of successive trials for groups of fathers and their sons were found. The correlation coefficients for the repeatability of the knee extension torque were 0.69 (confidence interval [CI] = 0.45–0.84; P < 0.01) and 0.75 (CI = 0.54–0.87; P < 0.01) before and after the fatiguing exercise, respectively, whereas the coefficient for the reproducibility of positioning the knee was 0.49 (CI = 0.16–0.72; P < 0.01) after the fatiguing exercise. Our results indicate a significant influence of hereditary factors on the control of limb torque and position.
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