Motor Development

Structure-Function Relationships during early Neuro-Ontogeny


Movements are the most obvious expression of life and the onset of movements, therefore, has intrigued scientists for a long time. In antiquity, this led to investigations into the motility of chick embryos and mammalian fetuses (e.g., see Adelman’s editorial in Hieronymus Fabricius, 1967). Modern research into the development of the nervous system only emerged at the end of the 19th century (see: Hamburger, 1988). Particularly neuroanatomists were motivated to study early and less complex stages of the developing nervous system in order to gain insight into the immense complexity of the mature brain. Cajal is one of the exponents of this interest and this is illustrated in a section of his biography:‘I have already pointed out… that the great enigma in the organization of the brain was the way in which the nervous ramifications ended and in which the neurons were mutually connected. … The… path open to reason is what, in biological terms is designated the ontogenetic or embryological method. Since the full grown forest turns out to be impenetrable and indefinable, why not revert to the study of the young wood, in the nursery stage, as we might say’ (Cajal, 1937; see also: Cajal, 1960). This approach followed by Cajal 1909, 1911), by His (His, 1890) and by several others, eventually led to the formulation of the neuron theory.


Cerebral Palsy Chick Embryo Soleus Muscle Central Pattern Generator Motor Development 
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