Journal of Neuroscience Methods vol:117 issue:2 pages:133-140
A new method to study sudden ankle inversions during human walking and jumping is presented. Ankle inversions of 25 degrees were elicited using a box containing a trap door. During the gait task, subjects walked at a speed of 4 km/h. At a pre-programmed delay after left heel strike, an electromagnet released the box on the treadmill. This delay enabled the subject to step on the box without having to change the walking cadence. During the jumping task, subjects jumped from a 30 cm high platform on the box in a standardised way. In both tasks 20 stimulus and 20 control trials were presented randomly. The average tilting velocity of the trap door during the stimulus trials was 403 degrees /s during the walking task and 595 degrees /s during the jumping task. For the control trials a tilting of 0 degrees was used. With this method it is possible to evoke reproducible ankle inversions causing characteristic EMG responses in six lower leg muscles.