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The Synaptic Organization of the Brain$
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Gordon M. Shepherd

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159561

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159561.001.1

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Spinal Cord: Ventral Horn

Spinal Cord: Ventral Horn

The Synaptic Organization of the Brain


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of the neuron types present in the ventral spinal cord, some features of their cellular and synaptic physiology, and some of their known circuit interactions. There are three major categories of neuronal elements in the spinal cord: (1) axons that originate either from sensory afferent neurons in the dorsal root ganglia or descending fiber systems that carry motor command signals into the cord from the supraspinal brain; (2) spinal neurons with axons that leave the cord to innervate skeletal muscle fibers (motoneurons) or autonomic ganglia (preganglionic neurons); and (3) spinal interneurons with axons that terminate exclusively within the central nervous system (CNS), either within the spinal cord itself (interneurons) or that leave the spinal cord to project to supraspinal targets (tract cells).

Keywords:   spine, neuronal elements, synaptic interconnections, movement, axons, spinal neurons, spinal interneurons

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