Lee Walsh: “Proprioception in 2015: What’s new and how should it be measured?”
Proprioception has been studied for over 120 years and has a controversial history. In the early 20th century debate focussed on whether skin, joint or muscle receptors were the primary source of proprioceptive information. Then in 1972 Goodwin, McCloskey and Matthews showed that muscle spindles contribute to conscious human proprioception. Other experiments around that time led to joint receptors being given a secondary role. Skin receptors and motor commands were hypothesised to have minor roles. Today the 1972 view stills stands strong with most scientists and physicians. However, there have been several important changes to understanding of proprioception over the last 10 - 15 years and together these changes have led to a new paradigm of proprioception. I will summarise the key evidence behind the need for a change in paradigm and discuss ways in which measurement of proprioception should change to control for new confounders.