Neonatal Brain Mechanisms and the Development of Motor Behavior

  • Franz J. Schulte


In the adult mammal, including the human, motor control has its representation at different levels of the CNS. A short review of motor control in the mature organism will precede each section of this chapter dealing with the various brain mechanisms of neonatal motor behavior. Since the turn of the century, a great wealth of data on spinal functions has been accumulated, thus allowing a detailed description of motor control at the spinal level. For neonatal studies, this description is particularly advantageous, since the motor behavior of the newborn seems to be mainly under the control of the spinal cord and the medulla. On the other hand, our sparse knowledge of the neurophysiologic mechanisms of higher motor control, even in the adult, may well account for a tremendous overestimation of the significance of the spinal cord in neonatal motoricity.


Preterm Infant Motor Behavior Newborn Infant Reticular Formation Muscle Spindle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Franz J. Schulte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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