Discharge patterns of hindlimb motoneurons during normal cat locomotion

Science  24 Jul 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4506, pp. 466-467
DOI: 10.1126/science.7244644


Long-term recording from single lumbar motoneurons of intact cats revealed activation patterns fundamentally different from those seen in decerebrate preparations. In intact cats, motoneuron bursts showed marked rate modulation without initial doublets. Each unit's frequencygram generally resembled the envelope of the gross electromyogram simultaneously recorded from the corresponding muscle. Average and peak discharge rates increased for faster gaits. These findings suggest that, in cat locomotion, rate modulation is a more important contributor to force regulation than was previously thought.