Decoding the organization of spinal circuits that control locomotion

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2016 Apr;17(4):224-38. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2016.9. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


Unravelling the functional operation of neuronal networks and linking cellular activity to specific behavioural outcomes are among the biggest challenges in neuroscience. In this broad field of research, substantial progress has been made in studies of the spinal networks that control locomotion. Through united efforts using electrophysiological and molecular genetic network approaches and behavioural studies in phylogenetically diverse experimental models, the organization of locomotor networks has begun to be decoded. The emergent themes from this research are that the locomotor networks have a modular organization with distinct transmitter and molecular codes and that their organization is reconfigured with changes to the speed of locomotion or changes in gait.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*