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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Aug;33:25-33. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.01.011. Epub 2015 Jan 30.

Taking the next step: cortical contributions to the control of locomotion.

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Département de Neurosciences, Groupe de recherche sur le système nerveux central (GRSNC), Université de Montréal, Pavillon Paul-G. Desmarais, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.


The planning and execution of both discrete voluntary movements and visually guided locomotion depends on the contribution of multiple cortical areas. In this review, we discuss recent experiments that address the contribution of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the motor cortex to the control of locomotion. The results from these experiments show that the PPC contributes to the planning of locomotion by providing an estimate of the position of an animal with respect to objects in its path. In contrast, the motor cortex contributes primarily to the execution of gait modifications by modulating the activity of groups of synergistic muscles active at different times during the gait cycle.

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