Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 91, Issue 6, pp 359–376 | Cite as

Frequency-dependent selection of alternative spinal pathways with common periodic sensory input

  • Bernhard Jilge
  • Karen Minassian
  • Frank RattayEmail author
  • Milan R. Dimitrijevic


Electrical stimulation of the lumbar cord at distinct frequency ranges has been shown to evoke either rhythmical, step-like movements (25–50 Hz) or a sustained extension (5–15 Hz) of the paralysed lower limbs in complete spinal cord injured subjects. Frequency-dependent activation of previously “silent” spinal pathways was suggested to contribute to the differential responsiveness to distinct neuronal “codes” and the modifications in the electromyographic recordings during the actual implementation of the evoked motor tasks. In the present study we examine this suggestion by means of a simplified biology-based neuronal network. Involving two basic mechanisms, temporal summation of synaptic input and presynaptic inhibition, the model exhibits several patterns of mono- and/or oligo-synaptic motor output in response to different interstimulus intervals. It thus reproduces fundamental input–output features of the lumbar cord isolated from the brain. The results confirm frequency-dependent spinal pathway selection as a simple mechanism which enables the cord to respond to distinct neuronal codes with different motor behaviours and to control the actual performance of the latter.


Motor Task Synaptic Input Interstimulus Interval Motor Output Temporal Summation 
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 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Jilge
    • 1
  • Karen Minassian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank Rattay
    • 1
    Email author
  • Milan R. Dimitrijevic
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.TU-BioMed Association for Biomedical EngineeringVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  2. 2.Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Electrical Stimulation and Physical RehabilitationViennaAustria
  3. 3.Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Restorative Neurology and NeuromodulationViennaAustria
  4. 4.Clinical Centre LjubljanaUniversity Institute for Clinical NeurophysiologySlovenia
  5. 5.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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