Spinal circuits for motor learning

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Aug;33:166-73. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2015.04.007. Epub 2015 May 15.


Studies of motor learning have largely focussed on the cerebellum, and have provided key concepts about neural circuits required. However, other parts of the nervous system are involved in learning, as demonstrated by the capacity to 'train' spinal circuits to produce locomotion following spinal cord injury. While somatosensory feedback is necessary for spinal motor learning, feed forward circuits within the spinal cord must also contribute. In fact, motoneurons themselves could act as comparators that integrate feed forward and feedback inputs, and thus contribute to motor learning. Application of cerebellar-derived principles to spinal circuitry leads to testable predictions of spinal organization required for motor learning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback, Physiological / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*