Using Neck Muscle Afferentation to Control an Ongoing Limb Movement? Individual Differences in the Influence of Brief Neck Vibration


  • Alekhina Maria
  • Perkic Goran
  • Manson Gerome Aleandro
  • Blouin Jean
  • Tremblay Luc


  • Neck
  • Proprioception
  • Vibration
  • Pointing
  • Individual differences
  • Online control

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When preparing and executing goal-directed actions, neck proprioceptive information is critical to determining the relative positions of the body and target in space. While the contribution of neck proprioception for upper-limb movements has been previously investigated, we could not find evidence discerning its impact on the planning vs. online control of upper-limb trajectories. To investigate these distinct sensorimotor processes, participants performed discrete reaches towards a virtual target. On some trials, neck vibration was randomly applied before and/or during the movement, or not at all. The main dependent variable was the medio-lateral/directional bias of the reaching finger. The neck vibration conditions induced early leftward trajectory biases in some participants and late rightward trajectory biases in others. These different patterns of trajectory biases were explained by individual differences in the use of body-centered and head-centered frames of reference. Importantly, the current study provides direct evidence that sensory cues from the neck muscles contribute to the online control of goal-directed arm movements, likely accompanied by significant individual differences.

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