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Journal Article

Cellular mechanisms of motor control in the vibrissal system

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons93189

Grinevich,  Valery
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons94233

Margrie,  Troy W.
Max Planck Research Group Behavioural Neurophysiology (Andreas T. Schaefer), Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Cell Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons94635

Osten,  Pavel
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Brecht, M., Grinevich, V., Jin, T., Margrie, T. W., & Osten, P. (2006). Cellular mechanisms of motor control in the vibrissal system. Pflügers Archiv: European Journal of Physiology, 453(3), 269-281. doi:10.1007/s00424-006-0101-6.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0019-9A36-1
Abstract
In this article we discuss the experimental advantages that the vibrissal motor system offers for analysis of motor control and the specializations of this system related to the unique characteristics of whisker movements. Whisker movements are often rhythmic, fast, and bilateral. Movements of individual whiskers have simple characteristics, whereas, movements of the entire vibrissae array are complex and sophisticated. In the last few years, powerful methods for high precision tracking of whisker movements have become available. The whisker musculature is arranged to permit forward movements of individual whiskers and consists−depending on the species−mainly or exclusively of fast contracting, fast fatigable muscle fibers. Whisker motor neurons are located in the lateral facial nucleus and their cellular properties might contribute to the rhythmicity of whisking. Numerous structures provide input to the lateral facial nucleus, the most mysterious and important one being the putative central pattern generator (CPG). Although recent studies identified candidate structures for the CPG, the precise identity and the functional organization of this structure remains uncertain. The vibrissa motor cortex (VMC) is the largest motor representation in the rodent brain, and recent work has clarified its localization, subdivisions, cytoarchitectonics, and connectivity. Single−cell stimulation experiments in VMC allow determining the cellular basis of cortical motor control with unprecedented precision. The functional significance of whisker movements remains to be determined