Effects of voluntary force generation on the elastic components of endpoint stiffness

Gregory A. Johnson, Sailaja V. Mantha, Thomas Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


The goal of this work was to determine how force loads applied at the hand change the elastic mechanical properties of the arm. Endpoint stiffness, which characterizes the relationship between hand displacements and the forces required to effect those displacements, was estimated during the application of planar, stochastic displacement perturbations to the human arm. A nonparametric system identification algorithm was used to estimate endpoint stiffness from the measured force and displacement data. We found that changes in the elastic component of arm stiffness during isometric force regulation tasks were due primarily to the actions of the single-joint muscles spanning the shoulder and elbow. This was shown to result in a nearly posture-independent regulation of joint torque-stiffness relationships, suggesting a simplified strategy that is used to regulate arm mechanics during these tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-323
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Biomechanics
  • Endpoint stiffness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Motor control
  • Multijoint
  • Posture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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