Plasticity of locomotor sensorimotor interactions after peripheral and/or spinal lesions.

Serge Rossignol, Grégory Barrière, Alain Frigon, Dorothy Barthélemy, Laurent Bouyer, Janyne Provencher, Hugues Leblond, Geneviève Bernard
Brain Research Reviews. 2008-01-01; 57(1): 228-240
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.06.019

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The present paper reviews aspects of locomotor sensorimotor interactions by
focussing on work performed in spinal cats. We provide a brief overview of spinal
locomotion and describe the effects of various types of sensory deprivations
(e.g. rhizotomies, and lesions of muscle and cutaneous nerves) to highlight the
spinal neuroplasticity necessary for adapting to sensory loss. Recent work on
plastic interactions between reflex pathways that could be responsible for such
plasticity, in particular changes in proprioceptive and cutaneous pathways that
occur during locomotor training of spinal cats, is discussed. Finally, we
describe how stimulation of some sensory inputs via various limb manipulations or
intraspinal electrical stimulation can affect the expression of spinal
locomotion. We conclude that sensory inputs are critical not only for locomotion
but also that changes in the efficacy of sensory transmission and in the
interactions between sensory pathways could participate in the normalization of
locomotion after spinal and/or peripheral lesions.


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