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  • Author: Shi Zhou x
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Yung-Sheng Chen, Shi Zhou and Colleen Cartwright

This study investigated the effects of ankle joint position and submaximal contraction intensity on soleus (SOL) H-reflex modulation. Twenty young (25.1 ± 4.8 years) and 20 older adults (74.2 ± 5.1 years) performed plantar flexions during 10%, 30% and 50% maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) and at ankle positions of neutral (0°), plantar flexion (20°) and dorsiflexion (–20°) in a sitting position. The SOL H-reflex gain in older adults was relatively lower than that in young adults during 10%, 30% and 50% MVC. The SOL H-reflex gain was significantly affected by the intensity of plantar flexion in the respective ankle joint position in both age groups. The latency of H-reflex was prolonged in older adults and was ankle joint dependent in young adults. Young adults demonstrated a shorter duration of the H-reflex response than that of older adults. The results indicated that there were age-related changes in the SOL H-reflex during the ankle plantar flexors activities.