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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1998 Jul;22(4):485-93.

The anatomy of the central control of posture: consistency and plasticity.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Netherlands.


Posture is usually thought to be steered by brainstem and cortical structures that have access to the motoneurons and their premotor interneurons of the axial and neck muscles. The present paper describes these pathways and their relation with gaze control structures. All these systems belong to the medial component of the so-called voluntary motor system. On the other hand, in the cat there also exist several postures that are not steered by the somatic, but by the emotional motor system. Examples are arching of the back and mating postures. The pathways thought to be involved in these behaviours are described. They belong to the lateral component of the emotional motor system and, especially in case of mating postures, are extremely plastic. They have been demonstrated to be almost 10 times as strong in oestrus than in non-oestrus cats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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