Introduction to Muscle Contraction and Locomotion

Explain the role of muscles in locomotion

Muscle contraction occurs when sarcomeres shorten, as thick and thin filaments slide past each other, which is called the sliding filament model of muscle contraction. ATP provides the energy for cross-bridge formation and filament sliding. Regulatory proteins, such as troponin and tropomyosin, control cross-bridge formation. Excitation–contraction coupling transduces the electrical signal of the neuron, via acetylcholine, to an electrical signal on the muscle membrane, which initiates force production. The number of muscle fibers contracting determines how much force the whole muscle produces.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Classify the different types of muscle tissue and fibers
  • Describe the processes of muscle contraction
  • Discuss why ATP is necessary for muscle movement
  • Identify the role of the brain in muscle movement
  • Discuss muscle tension and contraction

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Types of Muscle Tissue and Fibers
  • Sliding Filament Model of Contraction
  • ATP and Muscle Contraction
  • Neural Stimulation of Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Twitch and Control
  • Muscles in Review
  • Self Check: Muscle Contraction and Locomotion


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