Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 307–320 | Cite as

Neural organization of the locomotive oscillator

  • Barry E. Willner
  • Willard L. Miranker
  • Chien-Ping Lu


We study the relation of neural development, organization, and activity to behavior. We provide a model of the locomotive oscillator, a neural system supplying alternating stimulation to extensor and flexor muscles creating an oscillatory motion. We propose a protocol by which this neural system starting from unstructured, unconnected neural populations develops structure and function. The protocol is studied by both computer simulation and mathematical analysis. Our main results are 1 The locomotive oscillator self-organizes and maintains its organization, assuming certain properties of the neural populations. 2 Imperfections disturbing the functional adequacy of the neural populations may lead to the deterioration and disappearance of the oscillatory behavior. 3 The locomotive oscillator may fail to organize if the development is not staged in time.


Computer Simulation Mathematical Analysis Neural System Oscillatory Behavior Neural Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry E. Willner
    • 1
  • Willard L. Miranker
    • 1
  • Chien-Ping Lu
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Research DivisionT. J. Watson Research CenterYorktown HeightsUSA

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