Abstract:During posture control, reflexive feedback allows humans to efficiently compensate for unpredictable mechanical disturbances. Although reflexes are involuntary, humans can adapt their reflexive settings to the characteristics of the disturbances. Reflex modulation is commonly studied by determining reflex gains: a set of parameters that quantify the contributions of Ia, Ib and II afferents to mechanical joint behavior. Many mechanisms, like presynaptic inhibition and fusimotor drive, can account for reflex gain modulations. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of underlying neural and sensory mechanisms on mechanical joint behavior. A neuromusculoskeletal model was built, in which a pair of muscles actuated a limb, while being controlled by a model of 2,298 spiking neurons in six pairs of spinal populations. Identical to experiments, the endpoint of the limb was disturbed with force perturbations. System identification was used to quantify the control behavior with reflex gains.