Stance control in the chronic spinal cat

J Neurophysiol. 1994 May;71(5):1981-5. doi: 10.1152/jn.1994.71.5.1981.


1. A longitudinal study of the control of quiet and perturbed stance was conducted before and for 1 yr after complete spinal transection (T12) in a cat trained to stand on a moveable force platform. 2. With daily training, the spinal cat recovered full weight support and some intermittent control of lateral stability within 1 mo. Within the second month postspinalization, the spinal cat achieved the ability to maintain independent, unassisted stance (no external support or stimulation) for up to 45 s during quiet stance, as well as for 62-97% of the trials of horizontal translations of the support surface. 3. Control of lateral stability in the spinal cat was severely compromised, however, as eventually the spinal cat always lost its balance. Head movements and the tendency for the hindlimbs to initiate stepping movements were more destabilizing than platform translations. 4. Our preliminary results indicate that the recovery of partial lateral stability of the hindquarters in the spinal cat is the product of passive muscle properties and segmental reflexes, which, in isolation can provide only limited balance control in the chronic spinal cat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Hindlimb / innervation
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Muscles / innervation
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Reflex / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology