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Golgi Tendon Organ

Is located between skeletal muscle and tendons, their function is to measure the forces generated by muscle contraction


  • To signal and notify the amount of tension in the muscle
  • Depending on the amount of tension detected of the affected golgi tendon organ, it can either inhibit or stimulate the related motor neurons of the muscle
  • It can create inhibitory connections with homonymous motor neurons, thus deactivating the muscle
    • Under normal conditions, there is inhibitory connections at rest for muscles which are related to movement
  • It can stimulate homonymous motor neurons in the related muscle, thus activating the muscle
    • Under normal conditions, there is excitatory input to the active muscles during movement
  • The golgi tendon organ functions to give the nervous system precise information about the state of a muscle's contraction, and by this is able maintain a healthy level of function by either increasing or decreasing the activity of the muscle based on the muscle's state
  • In fine motoric skills, the inhibitory information is necessary in order to prevent too much force to be added while dealing with delicate objects


  • The amount of tension which is mediated to the brain is sent via the Ib afferents, the same afferents (Ib) also receive and send input from the muscle spindles, cutaneous receptors, and joints, as well as receiving both excitatory and inhibitory input from various descending pathways. This makes up a rather complex system which will affect the posture of the patient.


  • Functions to regulate muscle tension within an optimal range
  • As muscle tension increases, the inhibition of the alpha motor neuron slows muscle contraction; as muscle tension falls, the inhibition of the alpha motor neuron is reduced, and muscle contraction increases.
  • If the muscle is put under extreme load, the golgi tendon organ will realize this and deactivate the motor neurones which will protect the muscle from being overloaded