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2010.01.20 - Nichols - Brown on CPGs

  • Graham Brown studied central pattern generators originating from the spinal cord
    • Was a student of Sherrington
    • Pretty much ignored until the 1960s
  • Reflex arc is not as simplistic as earlier postulated, since sensory information converges and diverges not simply having a simple input-ouput.
  • Earlier papers showed that after transaction of spinal cord the cat was still able to walk
    • Sudden transaction produced locomotion even under anaesthesia even though electrical stimulation of the peripheral nerve didn't show any movement
  • Suggested that there were two half-centers that reciprocally inhibited each other and that one of the half-centers was weaker to allow for the pattern to initiate.
  • He says that reflexes are an exaggeration of the rhythmic behavior and sensory feedback was only to preserve the rhythmic movement