Neural bases of goal-directed locomotion in vertebrates—an overview

Sten Grillner, Peter Wallén, Kazuya Saitoh, Alexander Kozlov, Brita Robertson
Brain Research Reviews 2008, 57 (1): 2-12
The different neural control systems involved in goal-directed vertebrate locomotion are reviewed. They include not only the central pattern generator networks in the spinal cord that generate the basic locomotor synergy and the brainstem command systems for locomotion but also the control systems for steering and control of body orientation (posture) and finally the neural structures responsible for determining which motor programs should be turned on in a given instant. The role of the basal ganglia is considered in this context. The review summarizes the available information from a general vertebrate perspective, but specific examples are often derived from the lamprey, which provides the most detailed information when considering cellular and network perspectives.

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