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Acta Physiol Scand. 1984 Mar;120(3):393-405.

The effect of dorsal root transection on the efferent motor pattern in the cat's hindlimb during locomotion.


Mesencephalic cats can walk on a treadmill if the midbrain locomotor region is stimulated. The motor pattern of different hindlimb muscles is similar to that of th intact cat. The present experiments in the mesencephalic preparation test if the complex motor pattern in one hindlimb is causally dependent on the afferent signals arising in the same limb during walking. The electromyographical activity and the movement pattern during locomotion were compared before and after transecting all dorsal root fibres originating from one hindlimb. Flexor and extensor muscles at different joints may retain their general pattern after the dorsal root transection. This applies also to muscles such as the knee flexors, which have a short and early flexor burst and a second burst during the extension phase, and the short toe dorsiflexor , which has an early burst in the transition between flexor and extensor activity. After the dorsal root transection the pattern of activity may become more variable and it can even break down altogether. The present results demonstrate that the central nervous system devoid of phasic afferent inflow from one hindlimb can produce a complex motor output to this limb rather than a motor pattern degraded to a simple alternation between flexors and extensors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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