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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Aug;33:166-73. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.04.007. Epub 2015 May 15.

Spinal circuits for motor learning.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2; Department of Medical Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2. Electronic address: rob.brownstone@dal.ca.
2
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5; Centre for Neural Dynamics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5.
3
Department of Medical Neuroscience, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2.

Abstract

Studies of motor learning have largely focussed on the cerebellum, and have provided key concepts about neural circuits required. However, other parts of the nervous system are involved in learning, as demonstrated by the capacity to 'train' spinal circuits to produce locomotion following spinal cord injury. While somatosensory feedback is necessary for spinal motor learning, feed forward circuits within the spinal cord must also contribute. In fact, motoneurons themselves could act as comparators that integrate feed forward and feedback inputs, and thus contribute to motor learning. Application of cerebellar-derived principles to spinal circuitry leads to testable predictions of spinal organization required for motor learning.

PMID:
25978563
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2015.04.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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