Electrical stimulation of various brainstem nuclei has revealed sites capable of initiating and modulating locomotion. However, subsequent experiments have revealed that these regions are functionally heterogeneous. Modern techniques including molecular-genetic methods to label cell types and optogenetic approaches to manipulate neural activity are now enabling functional examination at the cellular level. In this review, we will highlight recent work revealing distinct roles for neurons of defined neurotransmitter identity and show how comparisons across species can stimulate new experimental and analytical approaches to further our understanding of how supraspinal populations function at a cellular level to control precise aspects of behaviour.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)