Modular organization of spinal motor systems

E. Bizzi, A. D'Avella, P. Saltiel, M. Tresch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The vertebrate nervous system produces a wide range of movement flexibly and efficiently, even though the simplest of these movements is potentially highly complex. The strategies by which the nervous system overcomes these complexities have therefore been of interest to motor physiologists for decades. In this review, the authors present a number of recent experiments that propose one strategy by which the nervous system might simplify the production of movement. These experiments suggest that spinal motor systems are organized in terms of a small number of distinct motor responses, or "modules." These distinct modules can be combined together simply to produce a wide range of different movements. Such a modular organization of spinal motor systems can potentially allow the nervous system to produce a wide range of natural behaviors in a simple and flexible manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscientist
Volume8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Keywords

  • Motor primitives
  • Spinal force fields
  • Spinal interneurons
  • Spinal motor systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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  • Cite this

    Bizzi, E., D'Avella, A., Saltiel, P., & Tresch, M. (2002). Modular organization of spinal motor systems. Neuroscientist, 8(5), 437-442.