The decerebrate cat generates the essential features of the force constraint strategy

Claire Honeycutt, T. Richard Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cats actively respond to horizontal perturbations of the supporting surface according to the force constraint strategy. In this strategy, the force responses fall into two groups oriented in either rostral and medial directions or caudal and lateral directions, rather than in strict opposition to the direction of perturbation. When the distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs is decreased, the responses are less constrained and directed more in line with the perturbation. We have recently shown that electromyographic responses from limb muscles of the decerebrate cat resemble those obtained in the intact animal. Our objectives here were to determine whether the decerebrate cat preparation would also exhibit the force constraint strategy and whether that strategy would exhibit the characteristic dependence on limb position on the strategy. Horizontal support surface perturbations were delivered and three-dimensional exerted forces were recorded from all four limbs. Clustered force responses were generated by all four limbs and were found to be statistically indistinguishable between animals decerebrated using two different levels of transection. The directionality of the force responses was preserved throughout successive time epochs during the perturbations. In addition, the clustering of force responses increased with distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs. These results indicate that the force constraint strategy used by terrestrial animals to maintain stability can be generated without the assistance of the cerebral cortices and without prior training. This suggests an important role for the lower brain stem and spinal cord in generating an appropriate strategy to maintain stability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3266-3273
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cats
Extremities
Forelimb
Hindlimb
Cerebral Cortex
Brain Stem
Cluster Analysis
Spinal Cord
Muscles
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

The decerebrate cat generates the essential features of the force constraint strategy. / Honeycutt, Claire; Nichols, T. Richard.

In: Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol. 103, No. 6, 06.2010, p. 3266-3273.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f0c813ee82cd44e8ab9679f3394a6098,
title = "The decerebrate cat generates the essential features of the force constraint strategy",
abstract = "Cats actively respond to horizontal perturbations of the supporting surface according to the force constraint strategy. In this strategy, the force responses fall into two groups oriented in either rostral and medial directions or caudal and lateral directions, rather than in strict opposition to the direction of perturbation. When the distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs is decreased, the responses are less constrained and directed more in line with the perturbation. We have recently shown that electromyographic responses from limb muscles of the decerebrate cat resemble those obtained in the intact animal. Our objectives here were to determine whether the decerebrate cat preparation would also exhibit the force constraint strategy and whether that strategy would exhibit the characteristic dependence on limb position on the strategy. Horizontal support surface perturbations were delivered and three-dimensional exerted forces were recorded from all four limbs. Clustered force responses were generated by all four limbs and were found to be statistically indistinguishable between animals decerebrated using two different levels of transection. The directionality of the force responses was preserved throughout successive time epochs during the perturbations. In addition, the clustering of force responses increased with distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs. These results indicate that the force constraint strategy used by terrestrial animals to maintain stability can be generated without the assistance of the cerebral cortices and without prior training. This suggests an important role for the lower brain stem and spinal cord in generating an appropriate strategy to maintain stability.",
author = "Claire Honeycutt and Nichols, {T. Richard}",
year = "2010",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1152/jn.00764.2009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "103",
pages = "3266--3273",
journal = "Journal of Neurophysiology",
issn = "0022-3077",
publisher = "American Physiological Society",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The decerebrate cat generates the essential features of the force constraint strategy

AU - Honeycutt, Claire

AU - Nichols, T. Richard

PY - 2010/6

Y1 - 2010/6

N2 - Cats actively respond to horizontal perturbations of the supporting surface according to the force constraint strategy. In this strategy, the force responses fall into two groups oriented in either rostral and medial directions or caudal and lateral directions, rather than in strict opposition to the direction of perturbation. When the distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs is decreased, the responses are less constrained and directed more in line with the perturbation. We have recently shown that electromyographic responses from limb muscles of the decerebrate cat resemble those obtained in the intact animal. Our objectives here were to determine whether the decerebrate cat preparation would also exhibit the force constraint strategy and whether that strategy would exhibit the characteristic dependence on limb position on the strategy. Horizontal support surface perturbations were delivered and three-dimensional exerted forces were recorded from all four limbs. Clustered force responses were generated by all four limbs and were found to be statistically indistinguishable between animals decerebrated using two different levels of transection. The directionality of the force responses was preserved throughout successive time epochs during the perturbations. In addition, the clustering of force responses increased with distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs. These results indicate that the force constraint strategy used by terrestrial animals to maintain stability can be generated without the assistance of the cerebral cortices and without prior training. This suggests an important role for the lower brain stem and spinal cord in generating an appropriate strategy to maintain stability.

AB - Cats actively respond to horizontal perturbations of the supporting surface according to the force constraint strategy. In this strategy, the force responses fall into two groups oriented in either rostral and medial directions or caudal and lateral directions, rather than in strict opposition to the direction of perturbation. When the distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs is decreased, the responses are less constrained and directed more in line with the perturbation. We have recently shown that electromyographic responses from limb muscles of the decerebrate cat resemble those obtained in the intact animal. Our objectives here were to determine whether the decerebrate cat preparation would also exhibit the force constraint strategy and whether that strategy would exhibit the characteristic dependence on limb position on the strategy. Horizontal support surface perturbations were delivered and three-dimensional exerted forces were recorded from all four limbs. Clustered force responses were generated by all four limbs and were found to be statistically indistinguishable between animals decerebrated using two different levels of transection. The directionality of the force responses was preserved throughout successive time epochs during the perturbations. In addition, the clustering of force responses increased with distance between forelimbs and hindlimbs. These results indicate that the force constraint strategy used by terrestrial animals to maintain stability can be generated without the assistance of the cerebral cortices and without prior training. This suggests an important role for the lower brain stem and spinal cord in generating an appropriate strategy to maintain stability.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77953515222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77953515222&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1152/jn.00764.2009

DO - 10.1152/jn.00764.2009

M3 - Article

VL - 103

SP - 3266

EP - 3273

JO - Journal of Neurophysiology

JF - Journal of Neurophysiology

SN - 0022-3077

IS - 6

ER -