The spinal frog takes into account the scheme of its body during the wiping reflex

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Science  12 Sep 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4462, pp. 1261-1263
DOI: 10.1126/science.7403886


The hindlimb of the spinal frog produces a wiping reflex evoked by electrically or chemically stimulating distal skin of the forelimb. The reflex was released in frogs supported on a flat surface or suspended. It was found to have two stages. During the first, the frog fixed the hindlimb in an intermediate posture irrespective of forelimb position. In the second, the movement depended on forelimb position, which determined the final posture of the hindlimb. In this final posure, all joints except the hip joint were fully extended; the hip angle was correlated with forelimb position and varied on repeated wipings. When the stimulus was applied to the skin of the back, the pattern of final postures was the same, but the intermediate postures differed. The organization of the wiping reflex is discussed in light of the hypothesis that movement is evoked according to changes in the equilibrium (postural state) of the system.

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