Neural networks that co-ordinate locomotion and body orientation in lamprey

Trends Neurosci. 1995 Jun;18(6):270-9.


The networks of the brainstem and spinal cord that co-ordinate locomotion and body orientation in lamprey are described. The cycle-to-cycle pattern generation of these networks is produced by interacting glutamatergic and glycinergic neurones, with NMDA receptor-channels playing an important role at lower rates of locomotion. The fine tuning of the networks produced by 5-HT, dopamine and GABA systems involves a modulation of Ca2+-dependent K+ channels, high- and low-threshold voltage-activated Ca2+ channels and presynaptic inhibitory mechanisms. Mathematical modelling has been used to explore the capacity of these biological networks. The vestibular control of the body orientation during swimming is exerted via reticulospinal neurones located in different reticular nuclei. These neurones become activated maximally at different angles of tilt.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Stem / physiology
  • Lampreys / physiology*
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Spinal Cord / physiology