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Central Nervous System

2 out of 9

Golgi tendon organ determines? (AIIMS MAY 2008)

A Static length
B Muscle action

C Muscle tension
D Dynamic length

Ans. C (Muscle tension)


  1. The Golgi tendon organ is an encapsulated sensory receptor, made of 10 to 15 muscle fibers connected in series with in muscle tendon.
  2. Golgi tendon organ detects muscle tension .When this small bundle of muscle fibers is “tensed” by contracting or stretching the muscle, it gets stimulated and elicit protective disynaptic spinal reflex called Golgi tendon reflex which relaxes the muscle. Sensory innervation of the organ is by Ib nerves.


  1. This means up to a point, the harder a muscle is stretched, the stronger is the reflex contraction by stretch reflex.
  2. When the tension becomes great enough, contraction suddenly ceases and the muscle relaxes.
  3. This relaxation in response to strong stretch is called the inverse stretch reflex or autogenic inhibition or golgi tendon reflex.
  4. The major difference in excitation of the Golgi tendon organ versus the muscle spindle is that the muscle spindle detects muscle length (static length) and changes in muscle length (dynamic length), whereas the tendon organ detects muscle tension.