Lecture 12- Lower Motorneuron Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 12- Lower Motorneuron Deck (43)

What are the 3 classes of input to lower motorneurons?

1. direct sensory input 2.lot of the signals from spinal cord,indirect and local interneuron input to lower motorneurons 3.and descending inputs


What is the overall organisation of neural structures that control movement?



What do the skeletal muscles do?

-do the moving -receive excitation from the spinal cord or brain stem


What is a motor neuron pool?

pools= has many nerves innervating a muscle lower motor neuron= sends its axon out and excites muscle


In what way are motorneurons a final common pathway?

- if you're going to have any effect on movement, must be from signals that come through the lower motorneuron


How are the cerebellum and basal ganglia involved in motor control?

-major role in motor control, but they don't project directly


What are reflexes?

-the simplest motor behaviours


Where are the motorneurons located?

-in ventral part of the spinal cord

-then interneurons are nearby, some projecting to the motor neurons pools and some get descending input


With what experiment did they figure out the spatial distribution of motor neurons in the ventral horn of the spinal cord?

-inject dye in muscles on the calf and see what dye is where in the spinal cord, can tell by this what nerves innervate what bits

-see constellations (motor pools of that muscle


What are muscles and how are they innervates?

-excitatory contractile tissue -excitatory motor neurons-exist in constellations /clusters in relation to the muscles they innervate


What is the somatotopic organisation of lower motor neurons?

-neurons that are medial= closer to the midline = innervate muscle that is medial

-the lateral muscles (further from the midline, like fingers etc,) innervated by more lateral nerves

-somatotopy, mapping

-also ventral and dorsal mapping, neurons in the ventral part innervate ventral -dorsal neurones supply dorsally located muscles


What are the interneurons connecting the medial motor neurons?

-tend to be long, link up big spans, connect medial motor neurons

-medial motor neurons usually connect axial muscle (close to the spine) versus the pectoral girdle

-the midline muscle= used to balance oneself= so want to do more things at the same time(more interconnected)

-those interneurons are much more interconnected than the interneurons connecting laterally that innervate the digits = those don't have that much interconnection

-in the picture the long distance local circuit neurons


What does midline muscle tend to do?

- tends to be for postural control


What does distal muscle tend to do?

-lateral neurons) tends to be for more dextrous voluntary movement


Why are the medial motor neurons connected by the long local circuits?

-innervate midline muscle -the midline muscle= used to balance oneself= so want to do more things at the same time (more interconnected)


What is a motor unit?

-element of muscle control

-for each of the neuron= how many muscle fibres does it activate

- size differs with muscle


Why are the muscle fibres one neuron innervates distributed in the muscle?

-the force of a muscle is so great that if you activated just one area you could tear the muscle, this way you don't


How much does the motor unit size vary?

-in eye= one neuron only 2 or 3 muscle fibres (as we have very fine control over eye movement) -gluteus maximus= 1 neuron= 100 -motor unit varies from muscle to muscle and within a muscle -spectrum of motor units (different sizes)


What is increased in the motor neurons with increased motor unit size?

-increased cell body size -increased dendritic complexity (more branches) -increased short-term EPSP potentiation with repeated activation (excitatory postsynaptic potential= measure of how excitable these cells are) -increased axonal diameter=faster conduction


What is decreased in the motor neurons with increased motor unit size?

-the bigger the motor unit the harder it is to excite


Why do we want the big motor units to be harder to excite?

-when activating a muscle, some fine movement, you don't want the one with the most strength acting first (so the small units easy to activate, big harder) -first one you activate is the smallest one!


How does the amount of activation in muscles increase?

- non-linearly

-when activate 25% of muscle get 5% of total strength

-very non-linear and that is what you want for fine control

-50%of motor neuron pool recruited and that is 25% of force

-then you get to the last ones= those are the big ones with lot of strength

-force is added from smallest to biggest


What are the differing speeds of muscle fibres and why?

-the muscles that are always used (posture) slow muscle fibre(smaller motor units)

-fast fibres allow us to use more force and what we want to do for longer so fast fatigue resistant

-the fast fatigable= the ones we use for something we want to do rarely but need lot of strength for it!(the large motor units)


What does recruitment order of motor units depend on?

-recruitment order depends on size due to the physiological property of the bigger motor units =hard to excite


What are the muscle spindles and how do they develop?

-sensory structures in the muscle -tell the nervous system what the muscle is doing -start of as normal muscle fibres in development then a sensory nerve grows out and contacts them it transforms them


What do muscle spindles detect?

-it detects stretch, is it long= extended or short=contracted

-very sensitve strecth detector

-sensory fibres, wrap around the modified muscle fibres,these relay the information back to the spinal cord about the stretch


What are the intrafusal muscle fibres?

- contractile muscle fibres of the muscle spindle -innervated by gamma motor neurons


What are extrafusal muscle fibres?

-normal contractile muscle fibres -innervated by alpha motor neurons


How does the maintaining position work with glass in hand, liquid poured in? stretch reflex

-sensory afferent nerve (blue thing)= body in dorsal root ganglia as all sensory neurons have that

-comes into the spinal cord and makes direct excitatory connections with motor neurons, not with all of them, only the ones that supply that very same muscle or muscles that do the same thing (synergists)

-and the same sensory neuron makes connection with an interneuron that is inhibitory, when that is activated it inhibits a motor neuron connecting to a muscle that does the opposite (antagonist)


What muscle is excited when a stretch is detected in a muscle by the muscle spindle?

-the same muscle is excited (as well as its synergists) and its antagonists are inhibited


What is the stretch reflex an example of?

-homeostatic mechanism to maintain muscle stretch, the muscle spindle detects muscle stretch = that gets the thing going -classic negative feedback mechanism -when lot of muscle stretch! the signal!


What is the stretch reflex circuitry?



What is the potential problem with muscle spindle detecting stretch?

-if muscle is contracted then it is shortened from its length and no stretch can be detected

-spindles respond to stretch so when you contract= no response, so useless now to detect stretch (this is what happens if the gamma motor neurons are taken out)


What do the gamma motor neurons do?

-gamma neurons will set the spindles at the right tension so when the muscle is activated there is a stretch

-so muscle shortens= the gamma motor neurons shorten the spindle

-gamma motor neurons set the spindle to work at any contraction


What are the Golgi tendon organs?

-at end of muscles where they join tendons you get neurons there as well

-Golgi tendon organs= these are neurons

-sensory structures, afferents

-body in dorsal root ganglia (as they are sensory neurons)

-don't detect stretch of muscle

-know how much force is on the muscle

-detect muscle force


What do the Golgi tendon organs detect?

-force of the muscle -when muscle contracts get activity in Golgi tendon organ,the opposite a spindle (if no gamma)


How does the Golgi tendon organ regulate muscle tension?

why do we need to know about force?

-need to know to use the right force -info goes from Golgi tendon organ is inhibitory,if it goes too far= reduce force

-excitatory neurons so must act through inhibitory neurons in the spinal cord

- also connect to excitatory neurons exciting the antagonist muscle

-golgi tendon organs inhibit the muscle they are from


What do the spinal circuits do?

-reflexes and pattern generators


How does the flexion-crossed extension reflex work?

-Crossed extension reflex

-involves nociceptors

-painful= flexor withdrawal,extensor is inhibited, withdraw the leg

-same stimulus crosses to the other side of the spinal cord and excites extensor muscles and inhibits flexor muscle= put all the force on the other leg


What is the story with the newborn baby stepping?

spinalcord is basis for locomotion -the baby is locomoting sort of -at day 0 the brain has not grown connections to the spinal cord to control the movement -that stepping is all produced in the spinal cord -initiated in the baby=by stepping on a surface -a few weeks later don't do it, that is because the brain starts to take control of what happens -extensors must be 180 degrees out of phase with flexors -flexor then extensor -spinal pattern


Where is the pattern for walking etc. generated?

-in the spinal cord -swing= flex -extension= the force, the push


What are the four patterns a cat can do when moving?

-we can only do walk or run -cats can do 4 -walk= each leg takes a turn -trot= diagonal -pace= two sides act as the same limb -gallop= faster -spinal cord dictates the pattern, incredibly able computational centre!


Can cats walk after having their lumbar region of the spine transected?

-lumbar sacral region of the spinal cord= the pattern generator for walking and running (in humans) -if it isn't in contact with the descending input because of a lesion or so, cannot activate on its own -once spinal cord severed cannot activate spinal cord pattern generator -in other animals you can! -if severe the spinal cord, can walk and run normally on treadmill eventough no connection to brain