Neuro-X Seminar: Computational models of spinal locomotor circuitry
To effectively move in complex and changing environments, animals must control locomotor speed and gait, while precisely coordinating and adapting limb movements to the terrain. The underlying neuronal control is facilitated by circuits in the spinal cord, which integrate supraspinal commands and afferent feedback signals to produce coordinated rhythmic muscle activations necessary for stable locomotion. I will present a series of computational models investigating dynamics of central neuronal interactions as well as a neuromechanical model that integrates neuronal circuits with a model of the musculoskeletal system. These models closely reproduce speed-dependent gait expression and experimentally observed changes following manipulation of multiple classes of genetically-identified neuronal populations. I will discuss the utility of these models in providing experimentally testable predictions for future studies.
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