Variation of isometric response force in the rat

Andrew B. Slifkin, Suzanne H. Mitchell, Jasper Brener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Hungry, unrestrained rats (N= 7) were rewarded for pressing a response beam in excess of 11 different force requirements. Changes in peak force production as a function of peak force requirement were examined by analyses of the first four moments of distributions of peak response forces: constant error, the within-subject standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis. Results were similar to those previously obtained with human subjects: Constant error was positive at low and negative at high force requirements, the within-subject standard deviation increased as a negatively accelerating function of force requirement, and skewness and kurtosis were positive at low force requirements and decreased to negative values at the highest increments. Additional analyses of response kinetics indicated that rats, like humans, meet increasing force requirements by altering the rate of rise of force. The performance similarities suggest that common processes are engaged by the human and rat motor control systems to solve the problem of generating forces that are appropriate to the prevailing environmental constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Isometric
  • Kinetic
  • Peak force
  • Rats
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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