Ancestral persistence of vestibulospinal reflexes in axial muscles in humans
Journal of Neurophysiology. 2020-05-01; 123(5): 2010-2023
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This study addresses the extent of conservation of trunk muscle control in humans. Results show that galvanic vestibular stimulation-evoked vestibular responses in trunk muscles remain strong in conditions where leg muscle responses are downmodulated (walking, standing, microgravity). This suggests a phylogenetically conserved blueprint of sensorimotor organization, with strongly hardwired vestibulospinal inputs to axial motoneurons and a higher degree of flexibility in the later emerging limb control system.