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Brain Res Rev. 2008 Jan;57(1):22-8. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Origin of excitatory drive to a spinal locomotor network.

Author information

1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1UG, UK. a.roberts@bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

A long-standing hypotheses is that locomotion is turned on by descending excitatory synaptic drive. In young frog tadpoles, we show that prolonged swimming in response to a brief stimulus can be generated by a small region of caudal hindbrain and rostral spinal cord. Whole-cell patch recordings in this region identify hindbrain neurons that excite spinal neurons to drive swimming. Some of these hindbrain reticulospinal neurons excite each other. We consider how feedback excitation within the hindbrain may provide a mechanism to drive spinal locomotor networks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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