Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Pruszynski, J Andrew


Operant conditioning of short-latency reflex (SLR) and H-reflex have been investigated in animals and humans. We modified previously established protocols for conditioning lower limb H-reflexes to up-condition the SLR in brachioradialis muscle and to investigate the effect of such conditioning on the long-latency response (LLR) of synergistic muscles. Our study included 12 healthy participants. Each participant took part in 3 baseline and 27 conditioning sessions in 6 weeks, followed by two additional sessions one month and two months after the last conditioning session. We found an increase in SLR magnitude in 50% of participants (by 15%±2.50). However, there was no significant effect at the population level. We could not find any statistically significant correlation between SLR in the conditioned muscle with SLR and LLR in synergistic muscles. Although our findings in healthy adults were weak, studying patients with spinal cord injury or other motor dysfunctions might show clinically significant results.