Tonic and rhythmic spinal activity underlying locomotion

Yury P. Ivanenko, Victor S. Gurfinkel, Victor A. Selionov, Irina A. Solopova, Francesca Sylos-Labini, Pierre A. Guertin, Francesco Lacquaniti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In recent years, many researches put significant efforts into understanding and assessing the functional state of the spinal locomotor circuits in humans. Various techniques have been developed to stimulate the spinal cord circuitries, which may include both diffuse and quite specific tuning effects. Overall, the findings indicate that tonic and rhythmic spinal activity control are not separate phenomena but are closely integrated to properly initiate and sustain stepping. The spinal cord does not simply transmit information to and from the brain. Its physiologic state determines reflex, postural and locomotor control and, therefore, may affect the recovery of the locomotor function in individuals with spinal cord and brain injuries. This review summarizes studies that examine the rhythmogenesis capacity of cervical and lumbosacral neuronal circuitries in humans and its importance in developing central pattern generator-modulating therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1763
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Central pattern generator
  • Electromagnetic stimulation
  • Kohnstamm phenomenon
  • Locomotion
  • Muscle tone
  • Neuromodulators
  • Rhythmogenesis
  • Sensory input
  • Spinal cord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Tonic and rhythmic spinal activity underlying locomotion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this