Selection and Initiation of Motor Patterns

Neurons, Networks, and Motor Behavior - 1999-01-01Grillner S, Georgopoulos AP, Jordan LM
Successful locomotion in vertebrates requires not only generation of the appropriate propulsive synergy (flying, swimming, or walking), but also goal-directed steering and control of body orientation. In most vertebrates, a correct positioning of each foot is also required during selected phases of the movement. This review focuses on the role of the forebrain and brainstem control in the initiation of locomotion. It considers the basal ganglia, hypothalamus, the mesencephalic locomotor region, including the cuneiform and pedunculoponltine regions, as well as the medullary reticular areas. The various corticospinal systems are also reviewed because they most likely contribute to accurate foot placement during locomotion over a complex terrain.