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Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):148-54. Epub 2007 May 21.

Nervous mechanisms controlling body posture.

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Karolinska Institutet, The Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology, Department of Neuroscience, S-17177, Stockholm, Sweden.


This paper briefly summarizes the studies of nervous mechanisms controlling the body posture, which were performed in the Department of Neuroscience of the Karolinska Institute during the last decade. Postural mechanisms were investigated in "animal models" of different complexity--the mollusk, lamprey, rabbit, and cat. The following problems were addressed: (1) functional organization of the postural system; (2) localization of postural functions in the mammalian CNS; (3) postural networks; (4) impairment of postural control caused by vestibular deficit. These studies have significantly expanded our knowledge of how the postural control system operates, how the stabilized body orientation can be changed, and how the postural functions are distributed within different parts of the CNS. For simpler animal models (mollusk, lamprey), the neuronal networks responsible for the control of body posture have been analyzed in considerable detail, with identification of the main cell types and their interactions. Also, alterations in the activity of postural mechanisms caused by the vestibular deficit were investigated to better understand the process of recovery of postural function.

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