Formation of locomotor patterns in decerebrate cats in conditions of epidural stimulation of the spinal cord

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Acute experiments on decerebrate cats were performed to study the mechanism of formation of the locomotor pattern in conditions of epidural stimulation of the spinal cord. These studies showed that only segments L3–L5 contributed to generating the stepping pattern in the hindlimbs. At the optimum frequency (5–10 Hz) of stimulation of these segments, formation of electromyographic burst activity in the flexor muscles was mainly due to polysynaptic reflex responses with latencies of 80–110 msec. In the extensor muscles, this process involved the interaction of a monosynaptic reflex and polysynaptic activity. In epidural stimulation, the stepping pattern was specified by spinal structures, while peripheral feedback had modulatory influences.

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