Cellular mechanisms of motor control in the vibrissal system

Brecht, M., Grinevich, V., Jin, T. E., Margrie, T., Osten, P. (December 2006) Cellular mechanisms of motor control in the vibrissal system. Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology, 453 (3). pp. 269-81. ISSN 0031-6768 (Print)

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16736208
DOI: 10.1007/s00424-006-0101-6


In this article we discuss the experimental advantages that the vibrissal motor system offers for analysis of motor control and the specializations of this system related to the unique characteristics of whisker movements. Whisker movements are often rhythmic, fast, and bilateral. Movements of individual whiskers have simple characteristics, whereas, movements of the entire vibrissae array are complex and sophisticated. In the last few years, powerful methods for high precision tracking of whisker movements have become available. The whisker musculature is arranged to permit forward movements of individual whiskers and consists-depending on the species-mainly or exclusively of fast contracting, fast fatigable muscle fibers. Whisker motor neurons are located in the lateral facial nucleus and their cellular properties might contribute to the rhythmicity of whisking. Numerous structures provide input to the lateral facial nucleus, the most mysterious and important one being the putative central pattern generator (CPG). Although recent studies identified candidate structures for the CPG, the precise identity and the functional organization of this structure remains uncertain. The vibrissa motor cortex (VMC) is the largest motor representation in the rodent brain, and recent work has clarified its localization, subdivisions, cytoarchitectonics, and connectivity. Single-cell stimulation experiments in VMC allow determining the cellular basis of cortical motor control with unprecedented precision. The functional significance of whisker movements remains to be determined.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals Facial Muscles innervation physiology Membrane Potentials physiology Models Animal Motor Cortex cytology physiology Motor Neurons physiology Movement physiology Patch-Clamp Techniques Rats Vibrissae physiology
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior
Investigative techniques and equipment > electrophysiology
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > rat
organism description > animal behavior > vibrissa motor cortex
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Osten lab
Depositing User: CSHL Librarian
Date: December 2006
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2011 15:15
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2013 15:07
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/22761

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving