Table of Contents

Volume 509 Number 7498 pp7-128

1 May 2014

About the cover

The striking motions represented in Heel Daoyin, a kinetic sculpture by Peter Jansen, are reminiscent of limb oscillations seen in the absence of presynaptic inhibition. Humans and other animals execute limb movements with a seemingly effortless precision that relies on sensory feedback and its refinement by inhibitory microcircuits. A new study identifies presynaptic inhibition in the spinal cord, a regulatory filter mediated by Gad2-expressing GABAergic interneurons that form connections with the terminals of sensory afferents, as part of a hardwired gain control system crucial for the smooth execution of movement. Thomas Jessell and colleagues demonstrate that activation of Gad2-expressing neurons inhibits neurotransmitter release from sensory afferents. Selective ablation of these neurons in mice causes pronounced oscillations during goal-directed forelimb reaching movements, a behaviour captured by a model of sensory feedback at high gain. Cover: Peter Jansen, www.humanmotions.com

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