This paper reports the results of an investigation of the basic mechanisms underlying intersegmental coordination in lamprey locomotion, by the use of a combined mathematical and biological approach. Mathematically, the lamprey central pattern generator (CPG) is described as a chain of coupled nonlinear oscillators; experimentally, entrainment of fictive locomotion by imposed movement has been investigated. Interpretation of the results in the context of the theory has allowed conclusions to be drawn about the nature of ascending and descending coupling in the lamprey spinal CPG. Theory predicts and data show that 1) the greater the number of oscillators in the chain, the smaller is the entrainment frequency range and 2) it is possible to entrain both above and below the rest frequency at one end but only above or below at the other end. In the context of the experimental results, the theory indicates the following: 1) ascending coupling sets the intersegmental phase lags, whereas descending coupling changes the frequency of the coupled oscillators; 2) there are differences in the ascending and descending coupling other than strength; and it also suggests that 3) coupling slows down the oscillators.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Neurophysiology|
|State||Published - 1990|
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