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The Physiology of Motor Units in Mammalian Skeletal Muscle

  • Donald M. Lewis

Abstract

The term “motor unit” was first used in a paper by Liddell and Sherrington (1925) to describe the “motoneurone axon and its adjunct muscle fibers.” Later Sherrington (1925) made it clear that the term should be taken to include “together with the muscle-fibers innervated by the unit, the whole of the axon of the motoneurone from its hillock on the perikaryon down to its terminals in the muscle.” This definition clearly excludes the motoneuron soma. Although this chapter will adhere to Sherrington’s definition by concentrating on properties of the axons and of the muscle fibers of motor units, the relationships between these two components of the motor unit can be discussed most profitably together with a knowledge of the firing patterns of the motoneurons, which are determined largely by the properties of the cell bodies and their synaptic connections.

Keywords

Motor Unit Extensor Digitorum Longus Slow Muscle Fast Muscle Single Motor Unit 
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

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald M. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Medical SchoolBristol UniversityBristol, AvonEngland

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