The present study investigated the effects of two-dimensional arm stiffness and muscle effort required to maintain horizontal arm posture on positionreproduction errors. 12 participants performed a multi-joint position-reproduction task without visual feedback. They were required to indicate a proprioceptively remembered target position with the fingertip of the ipsilateral arm. The results showed that both constant and variable errors were larger in the direction of lower stiffness rather than in the direction of higher stiffness in the stiffness ellipse. In the condition where participants' arm was supported during position perception, variable error was larger than when it was vertically unsupported. These results suggested that proprioceptive accuracy and precision are positively related to the axis length of elliptically represented arm stiffness, and that exerting muscle effort to maintain the arm against the force of gravity may be supportive of human proprioceptive mechanisms.
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