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Chapter 10

NROC64- CARP Chapter 10.docx

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Matthias Niemeier

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Chapter 10: Local Motor Control  Motor neurons are large and have long axons and each of them controls a motor unit: scattered group of individual muscle fibers that are apart of the middle ear and eye muscles  there are 1500 motor unit in the large and crude muscles, like the gluteus maximus  force is controlled partly by changes in the firing frequency of individual motor neurons and also by recruitment: where one or more motor neurons are brought into play as the required muscle tension increases  it is usually the smallest neurons (innervate the most tonic and least fatigable muscles) to be recruited first  individual motor neurons sometimes fir at low frequencies, but this does not cause twitching of the muscle  Renshaw cells: provides lateral inhibition between motor neurons between motor neurons that discourages synchronization  motor neurons have an orderly and systematic arrangement within the cord, in clumps that reflect the topology of the muscles they serve  medial neurons innervate the muscles of the trunk  most distal parts of limbs are governed by most lateral neurons  flexors and extensors tend to be under the control of the more dorsal and ventral groups  these cells are represent the ultimate funnel through which all nervous excitation must pass whenever a motor act is made, whatever its source may be, together they for the final motor pathway  flexors and extensors also have afferents from interneurons terminate on them and in some cases receptors ( that serve final spinal reflexes an responses), and some descending pathways at higher levels  quantity of information to the ventral horn is enormous (that is why its dendritic tree is huge and it often extends to a large part of the grey matter of the cord)  spinal afferents give rise to spinal reflexes (by projecting directly or via i
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