Predictions of the Existence, Frequency, and Amplitude of Physiological Tremor in Normal Man Based on Measured Frequency-Response Characteristics

[+] Author and Article Information
G. I. Zahalak

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. 63130

S. C. Cannon

Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. 21205

J Biomech Eng 105(3), 249-257 (Aug 01, 1983) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138413 History: Received October 19, 1982; Revised February 18, 1983; Online June 15, 2009


Mathematical models for 1) musculoskeletal dynamics, and 2) reflex feedback, based on the results of the authors’ frequeny-response measurements on normal adult male human subjects, are combined to produce a model for physiological tremor in such subjects. An analysis of this model shows that the system will be unstable to small disturbances (that is, tremor will occur) under certain conditions of external loading. Further, when the system is unstable, nonlinearities in the model produce responses in the form of limit cycles, and both the frequency and amplitude of the resulting tremor can be calculated. For constant loads applied through a constant compliance, the model predicts the onset of tremor at low loads, a maximum intensity of tremor at loads corresponding to 30–50 percent of maximum voluntary effort, and a decrease in the tremor amplitude at still higher loads.

Copyright © 1983 by ASME
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