The time to task failure was briefer for the position task than for the force task (P=0.0002). Thirty and 29 motor units were isolated during the force and position tasks, respectively.
The recruitment threshold declined by 48 and 30% (P=0.0001) during the position task for motor units with an initial recruitment threshold below and above the target force, respectively, whereas no significant change in recruitment threshold was observed during the force task.
Changes in recruitment threshold were associated with a decrease in the mean discharge rate (-16%), an increase in discharge rate variability (+40%), and a prolongation of the first two interspike intervals (+29 and +13%). These data indicate that there were faster changes in motor unit recruitment and rate coding during the position task than the force task despite a similar net muscle torque during both tasks. Moreover, the results suggest that the differential synaptic input observed during the position task influences most of the motor unit pool.