Organizing network action for locomotion: insights from studying insect walking

Brain Res Rev. 2008 Jan;57(1):162-71. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.06.028. Epub 2007 Aug 21.


The operational basis for the generation of a functional motor output during walking is formed by the interaction between central pattern generating networks, local feedback from sensory neurons about movements and forces generated in the locomotor organs and coordinating signals from neighboring segments or appendages. This review primarily addresses the current knowledge about network organization underlying the control of an insect walking leg and recent advances in understanding the ways by which modifications in the motor output for walking are generated. Here we focus especially on modifications of the walking motor pattern that are associated with changing walking speed and walking direction. We will place the current knowledge and new results into the broad context gained from other locomotor behaviors and organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extremities / innervation
  • Extremities / physiology
  • Insecta / physiology*
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*