Central Pattern Generator (CPG) networks, which organize rhythmic movements, have long served as models for neural network organization. Modulatory inputs are essential components of CPG function: neuromodulators set the parameters of CPG neurons and synapses to render the networks functional. Each modulator acts on the network by many effects which may oppose one another; this may serve to stabilize the modulated state. Neuromodulators also determine the active neuronal composition in the CPG, which varies with state changes such as locomotor speed. The pattern of gene expression which determines the electrophysiological personality of each CPG neuron is also under modulatory control. It is not possible to model the function of neural networks without including the actions of neuromodulators.
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