Spinal and Neuromechanical Integration: Overview
To interact with the environment or other organisms, the nervous system must move. Whether it is a fundamental protective reflex, a stabilizing postural adjustment, a rapid prey strike, or an expressive dance gesture, the motor repertoire of an organism defines the nature of its environmental interactions. Structures in the periphery of the motor system, the musculoskeletal system and spinal cord, most directly mediate these environmental interactions. The actions of central brain regions such as cortex, cerebellum, or basal ganglia all ultimately have to pass through these peripheral structures. Understanding the properties of these peripheral systems is therefore critical for our understanding of the neural control of movement.
How should we consider these peripheral components of the motor system? In one common perspective, these systems are problems that the CNS must overcome. In this perspective, the complex properties of muscles, limb mechanics, motor...
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