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Myotatic unit

Greek: myon - muscle, tasis - tension
German: Myotatische Einheit

1 Definition

The term myotatic unit describes a synergistic and antagonistic muscles controlling one certain joint. This group of muscles is connected by a neuronal system, respectively by reflex pathways.

2 Function

The myotatic unit serves the regulation of tension force or rigidity of a joint by divergent connections of afferent spindle fibers.

If one muscle group conducts a contraction, the corresponding group of antagonistic muscles need to relax. This process is regulated by a certain reflex called reciprocal inhibition.

The easiest reflex of a myotatic unit is the monosynaptic strech reflex (myotatic reflex, p.e. patellar tendon reflex), in which just two neurons take part.

3 Source

  • Dee U. Silverthorn: "Physiologie - Die komplette Physiologie des Menschen in integrativer Darstellung" (Pearson Deutschland GmbH, 2009)

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