Motor control

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Model-based centralization schemes, though able to quantify locomotion control in animals and bio-inspired robots, are limited to specific systems. Here, the authors report a generalized information-based centralization scheme that unifies existing models and can be applied to different systems.

    • Izaak D. Neveln
    • , Amoolya Tirumalai
    •  & Simon Sponberg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    There are few studies of structural changes in ascending and descending sensorimotor pathways after stroke, beyond the corticospinal tract, in the brain. Here the authors identify changes in white matter structure in brainstem and spinal cord following stroke, and show its relationship to motor impairment.

    • Haleh Karbasforoushan
    • , Julien Cohen-Adad
    •  & Julius P. A. Dewald
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spinal CPGs transmit movement commands through rhythmic synaptic drive onto the spinal premotor network. Here, the authors use paired recordings to demonstrate that spinal neurons have decorrelated synaptic activity suggesting a CPG network with sparse convergent connectivity.

    • Marija Radosevic
    • , Alex Willumsen
    •  & Rune W. Berg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Motor preparation processes guide movement. Here, by recording neural activity in monkeys reaching toward targets that can change location, the authors provide evidence that changing a prepared movement midway through completion reengages motor preparation.

    • K. Cora Ames
    • , Stephen I. Ryu
    •  & Krishna V. Shenoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many natural behaviours involve tracking of a target in space. Here, the authors describe a task to assess this behaviour in mice and use in vivo electrophysiology, calcium imaging, optogenetics, and chemogenetics to investigate the role of the striatum in target pursuit.

    • Namsoo Kim
    • , Haofang E. Li
    •  & Henry H. Yin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite the known role of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) signaling in the homeostatic control of mood and motor functions, little is known about how gene expression in these neurons is regulated. Here, authors develop an in vivo nuclear tagging and capture technique for low-input chromatin accessibility and transcriptome profiling of genetically-defined neuron populations to identify Gmeb1 as a novel transcriptional regulator of mDA neurons, whose loss of function impairs motor control in mice.

    • Luis M. Tuesta
    • , Mohamed N. Djekidel
    •  & Yi Zhang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Can the human brain successfully control additional body parts beyond the ones we normally possess? Here, the authors study two polydactyly individuals (with an additional finger on each hand) and show that they can carry out more complex movements, performing with only one hand tasks normally requiring two.

    • C. Mehring
    • , M. Akselrod
    •  & E. Burdet
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During evoked swims, zebrafish larvae transition from fast to slow speeds. Here, the authors elucidate the circuit mechanisms in the central pattern generators in the spinal cord and show that genetically labeled V1 spinal interneurons provide in phase inhibition onto fast and slow motor neurons that are involved in the switching behaviour.

    • Yukiko Kimura
    •  & Shin-ichi Higashijima
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is known that Purkinje cell PKC-dependent depression is involved in the stabilization of self-motion based hippocampal representation. Here the authors describe decreased stability of hippocampal place cells based on allocentric cues in mice lacking Purkinje cell PP2B-dependent potentiation.

    • Julie Marie Lefort
    • , Jean Vincent
    •  & Christelle Rochefort
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The red nucleus (RN) is a midbrain nucleus known to be involved in the fine control of limb movements, but its role in motor learning is unclear. Here, the authors identified a neuronal population within the red nucleus, co-expressing Vglut2, PV and C1Ql2, which undergoes training-dependent plasticity.

    • Giorgio Rizzi
    • , Mustafa Coban
    •  & Kelly R. Tan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The wiring of peripheral neural circuits that regulate heart rate is poorly understood. In this study, authors used tissue clearing for high-resolution characterization of nerves in the heart in 3D and transgenic and novel viral vector approaches to identify peripheral parasympathetic and sympathetic neuronal populations involved in heart rate control in mice.

    • Pradeep S. Rajendran
    • , Rosemary C. Challis
    •  & Kalyanam Shivkumar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is not clear to what degree activity in dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) reflects perceptual-deliberation versus action-selection aspects of decision-making. Here, the authors report that monkey PMd neurons do not express correlates of the perceptual decision independently of the action choices.

    • Megan Wang
    • , Christéva Montanède
    •  & John F. Kalaska
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some cortical neurons fire together like a synchronized chorus, while others fire independently like soloists. Here, the authors show that soloist neurons in motor cortex tend to control body movements, while the choristers do not, and that soloists can become choristers by increasing inhibition.

    • Patrick A. Kells
    • , Shree Hari Gautam
    •  & Woodrow L. Shew
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) uses weak electrical currents, applied to the head, to modulate brain activity. Here, the authors show that contrary to previous assumptions, the effects of tACS on the brain may be mediated by its effect on peripheral nerves in the skin, not direct.

    • Boateng Asamoah
    • , Ahmad Khatoun
    •  & Myles Mc Laughlin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    To explain the neural correlates of behavior and its variability, one must analyze single-trial population dynamics. Here, the authors develop a statistical method that extracts low-dimensional dynamics that explain behavior better than high-dimensional neural activity revealing unexpected structure.

    • Ziqiang Wei
    • , Hidehiko Inagaki
    •  & Shaul Druckmann
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Motor learning is thought to be mostly procedural, but recent work has suggested that there is a strong cognitive component to it. Here, the authors show that humans use dissociable cognitive strategies, either caching successful responses or using a rule-based strategy, to solve a visuomotor learning task.

    • Samuel D. McDougle
    •  & Jordan A. Taylor
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Respiratory failure is one of the leading causes of death following spinal cord injury and it is unclear if normal respiratory motor activity can be recovered after chronic injury-induced paralysis. Here, authors show that treatment with chondroitinase ABC induces robust rescue of breathing up to 1.5 years following complete hemidiaphragm paralysis.

    • Philippa M. Warren
    • , Stephanie C. Steiger
    •  & Jerry Silver
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How corticostriatal connections of different pyramidal cell types are organized, particularly in convergent circuits, has not been evaluated in detail. Here, cell type-specific Cre-driver mice reveal that pyramidal tract-type corticostriatal projections, though broadly similar to intratelencephalic-type projections from the same cortical region, are generally more restricted and variable in their topographic termination patterns.

    • Bryan M. Hooks
    • , Andrew E. Papale
    •  & Charles R. Gerfen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Recording the activity of neurons over large brain regions requires expanding the field of view of the optics without losing on spatial and temporal resolution. Here, the authors report a micro-opto-mechanical device that enables two-photon imaging across distant motor areas around 6 mm apart in the mouse.

    • Shin-Ichiro Terada
    • , Kenta Kobayashi
    •  & Masanori Matsuzaki
  • Article
    | Open Access

    It is debated whether motor cortical activity reflects plans for multiple potential actions. Here, the authors report that in a delayed response task with two potential reach targets, population activity in the dorsal premotor cortex at any moment in time represents only one of the targets.

    • Brian M. Dekleva
    • , Konrad P. Kording
    •  & Lee E. Miller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dendritic integration is important for information processing in the brain. Here, in awake mice, authors combine simultaneous dendritic recording of voltage and calcium signals, with somatic recording from Purkinje neurons, enabling characterization of dendritic spiking, action potential backpropagation, and ‘hotspots’ in spiny dendrites.

    • Christopher J. Roome
    •  & Bernd Kuhn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Locomotor circuits in the spinal cord produce precise movements with variations in timing and vigor. Here, the authors report that such motor flexibility is generated through the specificity of connections between subtypes of V2a interneurons and motoneuron populations and their distinct plasticity mechanisms.

    • Jianren Song
    • , Elin Dahlberg
    •  & Abdeljabbar El Manira
  • Article
    | Open Access

    When tracking a moving object, our eyes make smooth pursuit movements; however, tracking an imaginary object produces jerky saccadic eye movements. Here, the authors show that during lucid dreams, the eyes smoothly follow dreamed objects. In this respect, dream imagery is more similar to perception than imagination.

    • Stephen LaBerge
    • , Benjamin Baird
    •  & Philip G. Zimbardo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Premature infants are vulnerable to hypoxia and thus white matter injury, especially in the cerebellum, which develops during late gestation. Here, the authors test the effects of perinatal hypoxia on motor performance and rescue behavioral deficits using the GABA reuptake inhibitor Tiagabine.

    • Aaron Sathyanesan
    • , Srikanya Kundu
    •  & Vittorio Gallo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Brain–spine interfaces have been used to enable leg movement following spinal cord injury, but movement is either involuntary or not adjustable. Here, the authors show in rats that a proportional stimulation interface permits voluntary movement and augments recovery in conjunction with rehabilitation.

    • Marco Bonizzato
    • , Galyna Pidpruzhnykova
    •  & Grégoire Courtine
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Brain-computer interface (BCI) can improve motor skills on stroke patients. This study shows that BCI-controlled neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy can cause cortical reorganization due to activation of efferent and afferent pathways, and this effect can be long lasting in a brain region specific manner.

    • A. Biasiucci
    • , R. Leeb
    •  & J. d. R. Millán
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Movements are continually constrained by the current body position and its relation to the surroundings. Here the authors report that the population activity of monkey dorsal premotor cortex neurons dynamically represents the probability distribution of possible reach directions.

    • Joshua I. Glaser
    • , Matthew G. Perich
    •  & Konrad P. Kording
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forward models predict and attenuate the sensory feedback of voluntary movement yet their involvement in motor imagery has only been theorized. Here the authors show that motor imagery recruits forward models to elicit sensory attenuation to the same extent as real movements.

    • Konstantina Kilteni
    • , Benjamin Jan Andersson
    •  & H. Henrik Ehrsson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cerebellum is thought to encode predictions about upcoming movements and provide a sensory prediction error based on the actual movement. Here the authors manipulate visual feedback during a movement-tracking task to show that both signals are carried in the lead and lag modulations of simple spikes of Purkinje cells.

    • Martha L. Streng
    • , Laurentiu S. Popa
    •  & Timothy J. Ebner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Excitatory neurons in the preBötzinger Complex generate bursting activity responsible for breathing, but these alone cannot generate physiological breathing frequencies. Here the authors show how inhibition regulates refractory properties of excitatory neurons to allow dynamic breathing rhythms.

    • Nathan Andrew Baertsch
    • , Hans Christopher Baertsch
    •  & Jan Marino Ramirez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Repeat expansion mutation in C9ORF72 is the most common cause of familial ALS. Here, the authors generate motor neurons from cells of patients with C9ORF72 mutations, and characterize changes in gene expression in these motor neurons compared to genetically corrected lines, which suggest that glutamate receptor subunit GluA1 is dysregulated in this form of ALS.

    • Bhuvaneish T. Selvaraj
    • , Matthew R. Livesey
    •  & Siddharthan Chandran
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Complex motor behaviors such as birdsong are learned through practice and are thought to depend on specific excitatory connectivity in premotor circuits. Here the authors show that song learning in Bengalese Finches is associated with enrichment of inhibitory network connectivity that can affect specific song features.

    • Mark N. Miller
    • , Chung Yan J. Cheung
    •  & Michael S. Brainard
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intra- and interlimb coordination during locomotion is governed by hierarchically organized lumbar spinal networks. Here, the authors show that reversible silencing of spinal L2–L5 interneurons specifically disrupts hindlimb alternation leading to a continuum of walking to hopping.

    • Amanda M. Pocratsky
    • , Darlene A. Burke
    •  & David S. K. Magnuson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies have shown short-term plasticity in single neurons or local field potentials during brain-machine interface (BMI) training. Here the authors report long-term changes in functional connectivity of motor cortex neuronal ensemble activity as chronically amputated monkeys learn to operate a BMI.

    • Karthikeyan Balasubramanian
    • , Mukta Vaidya
    •  & Nicholas G. Hatsopoulos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Basal ganglia can both facilitate or inhibit movement through excitatory and inhibitory pathways; however whether these opposing signals are dynamically regulated during behavior is not known. Here the authors use multinucleus LFP recordings and electrical microstimulation in monkeys performing saccade based tasks to show task specific changes in the tonic weighting of these pathways.

    • Jay J. Jantz
    • , Masayuki Watanabe
    •  & Douglas P. Munoz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) leads to selective loss of motor neurons. Using motor neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with ALS and FUS mutations, the authors demonstrate that axonal transport deficits that are observed in these cells can be rescued by HDAC6 inhibition.

    • Wenting Guo
    • , Maximilian Naujock
    •  & Ludo Van Den Bosch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) is thought to be involved in making somatomotor decisions. Chandrasekaran et al. investigated the temporal response dynamics of PMd neurons across cortical layers and show stronger and earlier decision-related responses in the superficial layers and more action execution-related signals in the deeper layers.

    • Chandramouli Chandrasekaran
    • , Diogo Peixoto
    •  & Krishna V. Shenoy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The developmental origin and functional organization of the brainstem breathing circuits are poorly understood. Here using virus-based circuit-mapping approaches in mice, the authors reveal the lineage, neurotransmitter phenotype, and connectivity patterns of phrenic premotor neurons, which are a crucial component of the inspiratory circuit.

    • Jinjin Wu
    • , Paolo Capelli
    •  & Gilles Fortin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) linearly encode whisker position but the precise circuit mechanisms that generate these signals are not well understood. Here the authors use patch clamp recordings to show that selective tuning of granule cell inputs and bidirectional tuning of interneuron inputs are required to generate the kinematic representations in PCs.

    • Susu Chen
    • , George J. Augustine
    •  & Paul Chadderton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Motor learning induces structural and functional reorganization in upper layers of motor cortex. Here the authors show that neuronal ensembles in the output layer 5b exhibit temporal dynamics during skilled learning that progressively becomes well-aligned to movement in a dopamine dependent manner.

    • Qian Li
    • , Ho Ko
    •  & Wing-Ho Yung