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Neuronal Control of LocomotionFrom Mollusc to Man$
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Grigori Orlovsky, T. G. Deliagina, and Sten Grillner

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524052

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524052.001.0001

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Role of the motor cortex in locomotor coordination

Role of the motor cortex in locomotor coordination

Chapter:
(p.237) 14 Role of the motor cortex in locomotor coordination
Source:
Neuronal Control of Locomotion
Author(s):

G. N. Orlovsky

T. G. Deliagina

S. Grillner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524052.003.0014

This chapter focuses on the role of the motor cortex in locomotor coordination. The motor cortex does not play any significant role in the production of the basic locomotor pattern in the cat. This was demonstrated by the fact that the mesencephalic cat is capable of ‘simple’ locomotion which is of walking and running in a straight line on a flat surface. This situation strongly contrasts to that in man and other primates, where even ‘simple’ locomotion is very severely disrupted by motor cortex lesions. Neurons of the motor cortex giving rise to the pyramidal tract and projecting to the contralateral fore limb controller can be found in area 4 of the cortex, in its forelimb zone. The motor cortex does not play any significant role in the control of ‘simple’ locomotion generated by the automatic control system, but nevertheless plays a decisive role in the control of visually induced gait modifications.

Keywords:   motor cortex, locomoter coordination, mesencephalic cat, neuron, limb controller

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