The brain thinks, the spinal cord implements

The brain thinks, the spinal cord implements

Although the brain or brain stem acts as the command center, it is the neural networks in the spinal cord that actually generate the complex motor patterns.

People with spinal cord injuries still have neural connections (so-called locomotion centers) below the site of the injury and these can trigger rhythmic movements in the legs. “Using statistical methods, we were able to identify a small number of basic patterns that underlie muscle activities in the legs and control periodic activation or deactivation of muscles to produce cyclical movements, such as those associated with walking,” explains study author Dr Simon Danner, from MedUni, Vienna.

The results have been published here in the leading journal “Brain”.

Summary article on HealthCanal