Muscle proprioceptive feedback and spinal networks

Brain Res Bull. 2007 Jul 12;73(4-6):155-202. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.03.010. Epub 2007 Apr 17.


This review revolves primarily around segmental feedback systems established by muscle spindle and Golgi tendon organ afferents, as well as spinal recurrent inhibition via Renshaw cells. These networks are considered as to their potential contributions to the following functions: (i) generation of anti-gravity thrust during quiet upright stance and the stance phase of locomotion; (ii) timing of locomotor phases; (iii) linearization and correction for muscle nonlinearities; (iv) compensation for muscle lever-arm variations; (v) stabilization of inherently unstable systems; (vi) compensation for muscle fatigue; (vii) synergy formation; (viii) selection of appropriate responses to perturbations; (ix) correction for intersegmental interaction forces; (x) sensory-motor transformations; (xi) plasticity and motor learning. The scope will at times extend beyond the narrow confines of spinal circuits in order to integrate them into wider contexts and concepts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mechanoreceptors / metabolism
  • Mechanoreceptors / ultrastructure
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscle Spindles / metabolism
  • Muscle Spindles / ultrastructure
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / physiology
  • Nerve Net*
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Posture
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Spinal Cord* / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord* / physiology