Assessing Reflex Latencies in Responses to Vibration: Evidence for the Involvement of More Than One Receptor

  • Ilhan Karacan
  • Kemal S. TürkerEmail author


This chapter describes a new method for pinpointing the latency of the vibration-induced muscular reflex. To determine the reflex latency, the vibration-altered electromyography (EMG) and acceleration data were spike triggered and averaged using the tip of the EMG response as the trigger. Averaged results belonging to several different vibration frequencies were then superimposed to achieve a ‘cumulative averaged record’. The lowest standard error of the cumulative averaged record for the acceleration data was marked to indicate the effective stimulus point on the vibration cycle. Similarly, the lowest standard error of the cumulative averaged record for the EMG data showed the start of the reflex response. The time between the effective stimulus point and the start of the reflex response on EMG data was designated as the ‘reflex latency’ of this circuit. Using this technique, we have examined the latency of whole-body vibration (WBV)-induced reflexes. We found that the WBV induced two different reflex responses depending on the vibration amplitude. While low amplitude WBV (0.1–0.4 mm) produced short latency reflex similar to muscle spindle-based T-reflex (34 ms), high amplitude vibration (1.1–2.8 mm) generated long latency reflex response (44 ms) which may have a different receptor origin than the spindles. We have also summarized the modulatory effects of vibration on spindle-based reflexes and indicated that these reflexes are reduced during and/or following vibration. It is suggested that this effect may originate from the reduction in effectiveness of the spindle synapses on motoneurons via premotoneuronal means.


Spinal Reflex Latency Excitability Motoneuron Inhibition 


  1. 1.
    Halliday DM, Rosenberg JR. Time and frequency domain analysis of spike train and time series data. In: Windhorst U, Johansson H, editors. Modern techniques in neuroscience research. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer; 1999. p. 503–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karacan I, Cidem M, Cidem M, Türker KS. Whole-body vibration induces distinct reflex patterns in human soleus muscle. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2017;34:93–101. Scholar
  3. 3.
    Karacan I, Cakar H, Sebik O, Yılmaz G, Cidem M, Kara S, et al. A new method to determine reflex latency induced by high rate stimulation of the nervous system. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014;8:536. Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cakar HI, Cidem M, Sebik O, Yilmaz G, Karamehmetoglu SS, Kara S, et al. Whole-body vibration-induced muscular reflex: is it a stretch-induced reflex? J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(7):2279–84. Scholar
  5. 5.
    Yıldırım MA, Kılıç A, Küçük HC, Topkara B, Paker N, Soy D, et al. Tüm Vücut Vibrasyonu Nöromuskuler Etkileri Tonik Vibrasyon Refleksi ile Açıklanabilir mi? 27.Ulusal Fiziksel Tıp ve Rehabilitasyon Kongresi 17–21 Nisan 2019Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cochrane DJ, Loram ID, Stannard SR, Rittweger J. Changes in joint angle, muscle tendon complex length, muscle contractile tissue displacement, and modulation of EMG activity during acute whole-body vibration. Muscle Nerve. 2009;40(3):420–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ritzmann R, Kramer A, Gruber M, Gollhofer A, Taube W. EMG activity during whole body vibration: motion artifacts or stretch reflexes? Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;110(1):143–51. Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cochrane DJ, Stannard SR, Firth EC, Rittweger J. Acute whole-body vibration elicits post-activation potentiation. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;108(2):311–9. Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roll JP, Vedel JP, Ribot E. Alteration of proprioceptive messages induced by tendon vibration in man: a microneurographic study. Exp Brain Res. 1989;76(1):213–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Apple S, Ehlert K, Hysinger P, Nash C, Voight M, Sells P. The effect of whole body vibration on ankle range of motion and the H-reflex. N Am J Sports Phys Ther. 2010;5(1):33–9.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Armstrong WJ, Nestle HN, Grinnell DC, Cole LD, Van Gilder EL, Warren GS, et al. The acute effect of whole-body vibration on the Hoffmann reflex. J Strength Cond Res. 2008;22(2):471–6. Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cakar HI, Cidem M, Kara S, Karacan I. Vibration paradox and H-reflex suppression: is H-reflex suppression results from distorting effect of vibration? J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2014;14(3):318–24.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fernandes IA, Kawchuk G, Bhambhani Y, Gomes PS. Does whole-body vibration acutely improve power performance via increased short latency stretch reflex response? J Sci Med Sport. 2013;16(4):360–4. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Harwood B, Scherer J, Brown RE, Cornett KMD, Kenno KA, Jakobi JM. Neuromuscular responses of the plantar flexors to whole-body vibration. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017;27(12):1569–75. Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hopkins JT, Fredericks D, Guyon PW, Parker S, Gage M, Feland JB, et al. Whole body vibration does not potentiate the stretch reflex. Int J Sports Med. 2009;30(2):124–9. Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hortobágyi T, Rider P, DeVita P. Effects of real and sham whole-body mechanical vibration on spinal excitability at rest and during muscle contraction. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014;24(6):e436–47. Scholar
  17. 17.
    Karacan I, Cidem M, Yilmaz G, Sebik O, Cakar HI, Türker KS. Tendon reflex is suppressed during whole-body vibration. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2016;30:191–5. Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kipp K, Johnson ST, Doeringer JR, Hoffman MA. Spinal reflex excitability and homosynaptic depression after a bout of whole-body vibration. Muscle Nerve. 2011;43(2):259–62. Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kramer A, Gollhofer A, Ritzmann R. Acute exposure to microgravity does not influence the H-reflex with or without whole body vibration and does not cause vibration-specific changes in muscular activity. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2013;23(4):872–8. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rittweger J, Mutschelknauss M, Felsenberg D. Acute changes in neuromuscular excitability after exhaustive whole body vibration exercise as compared to exhaustion by squatting exercise. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2003;23(2):81–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ritzmann R, Gollhofer A, Kramer A. The influence of vibration type, frequency, body position and additional load on the neuromuscular activity during whole body vibration. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013a;113(1):1–11. Scholar
  22. 22.
    Roll JP, Martin B, Gauthier GM, Mussa IF. Effects of whole-body vibration on spinal reflexes in man. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1980;51(11):1227–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sayenko DG, Masani K, Alizadeh-Meghrazi M, Popovic MR, Craven BC. Acute effects of whole body vibration during passive standing on soleus H-reflex in subjects with and without spinal cord injury. Neurosci Lett. 2010;482(1):66–70. Scholar
  24. 24.
    Calancie B, Broton JG, Klose KJ, Traad M, Difini J, Ayyar DR. Evidence that alterations in presynaptic inhibition contribute to segmental hypo- and hyperexcitability after spinal cord injury in man. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1993;89(3):177–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Godaux E, Desmedt JE. Human masseter muscle: H- and tendon reflexes. Their paradoxical potentiation by muscle vibration. Arch Neurol. 1975;32(4):229–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Desmedt JE, Godaux E. Mechanism of the vibration paradox: excitatory and inhibitory effects of tendon vibration on single soleus muscle motor units in man. J Physiol. 1978;285:197–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cochrane DJ. The potential neural mechanisms of acute indirect vibration. J Sports Sci Med. 2011;10(1):19–30.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Souron R, Baudry S, Millet GY, Lapole T. Vibration-induced depression in spinal loop excitability revisited. J Physiol. 2019;597:5179–93. Scholar
  29. 29.
    Desmedt JE, Godaux E. Vibration-induced discharge patterns of single motor units in the masseter muscle in man. J Physiol. 1975;253(2):429–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Karacan I, Sarıyıldız MA, Ergin Ö, Özen A, Karamehmetoğlu SS. Bone myoregulation reflex: a possible new mechanism. Nobel Med. 2009;5(3):9–17.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Karacan I, Cidem M, Bahadir C, Rezvani A, Ozen A, Unalan HI. The effects of radius bone density on the resting myoelectrical activity of contralateral wrist flexors in subjects exposed to unilateral forearm vibration. Turkiye Klinikleri J Med Sci. 2012;32(6):1673–80. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istanbul Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Training and Research HospitalIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Koç University School of MedicineIstanbulTurkey

Personalised recommendations