Motor control programs and walking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The question of how the central nervous system coordinates muscle activity is central to an understanding of motor control. The authors argue that motor programs may be considered as a characteristic timing of muscle activations linked to specific kinematic events. In particular, muscle activity occurring during human locomotion can be accounted for by five basic temporal components in a variety of locomotion conditions. Spatiotemporal maps of spinal cord motoneuron activation also show discrete periods of activity. Furthermore, the coordination of locomotion with voluntary tasks is accomplished through a superposition of motor programs or activation timings that are separately associated with each task. As a consequence, the selection of muscle synergies appears to be downstream from the processes that generate activation timings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • Central pattern generator
  • EMG activity
  • Human locomotion
  • Muscle synergies
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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