Research offers insights into nervous system control of leg movements

August 9, 2018, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

New research from a team at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine gives unexpected insights into how the nervous system controls leg movements in walking.

These findings could aid in directing rehabilitation in stroke patients as well as the design of artificial, or prosthetic, legs.

The research team of Sasha N. Zill, Ph.D., and Sumaiya Chaudhry, in collaboration with Chris J. Dallmann, Ph.D., and Josef Schmitz, Ph.D, at Bielefeld University and Ansgar Büschges, Ph.D., at the University of Cologne, applied forces and joint torques to the legs of stick insects to determine their impact on muscle activation. Their findings were published on July 18, 2018, in the Journal of Neurophysiology.

"Our research shows that dynamic signals from sense organs that detect changes in load are critical in producing normal ," said Zill, senior author and professor of anatomy in the department of biomedical sciences at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. "Current prosthetic devices for leg amputees incorporate sensors and microprocessors to regulate joint stiffness. The new findings suggest mechanisms for making these joints more adaptable, permitting more natural leg movements."

Explore further: Stick insect's propulsion joint discovered

More information: Sasha N. Zill et al, Force dynamics and synergist muscle activation in stick insects: the effects of using joint torques as mechanical stimuli, Journal of Neurophysiology (2018). DOI: 10.1152/jn.00371.2018

Related Stories

Stick insect's propulsion joint discovered

February 16, 2016
The stick insect is a popular model organism in biological research for gaining a better understanding of insect walking movements. The advantage of the stick insect is that the structure of its body parts and nervous system ...

Self-learning bionic hand could spark 'new generation' of prosthetic limbs

July 3, 2018
The new prosthetic hand interprets muscular signals from brain activity with machine learning to make movements more natural.

Surgical technique improves sensation, control of prosthetic limb

May 30, 2018
Humans can accurately sense the position, speed, and torque of their limbs, even with their eyes shut. This sense, known as proprioception, allows humans to precisely control their body movements.

Research team defines possible anti-aging intervention

June 26, 2018
New research from a team at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine demonstrates that the Na/K-ATPase oxidant amplification loop (NAKL) is intimately involved in the aging process and may serve as a target ...

Researchers identify inflammatory biomarkers in T cells

July 30, 2018
The Marshall University School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Genomics Core, recently released a new study that explores human T cell function under inflammatory ...

Revealing the mechanism behind animals' proprioception

July 11, 2018
An international team of researcher, led by Professor Kyuhyung Kim from Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences identified the motor mechanism of the proprioception sense that detects and controls the movement of the body.

Recommended for you

Perinatal hypoxia associated with long-term cerebellar learning deficits and Purkinje cell misfiring

August 18, 2018
Oxygen deprivation associated with preterm birth leaves telltale signs on the brains of newborns in the form of alterations to cerebellar white matter at the cellular and the physiological levels. Now, an experimental model ...

CRISPR technology targets mood-boosting receptors in brain

August 17, 2018
An estimated 13 percent of Americans take antidepressant drugs for depression, anxiety, chronic pain or sleep problems. For the 14 million Americans who have clinical depression, roughly one third don't find relief with antidepressants.

People are more honest when using a foreign tongue, research finds

August 17, 2018
New UChicago-led research suggests that someone who speaks in a foreign language is probably more credible than the average native speaker.

Critical role of DHA on foetal brain development revealed

August 17, 2018
Duke-NUS researchers have found evidence that a natural form of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) made by the liver called Lyso-Phosphatidyl-Choline (LPC-DHA), is critical for normal foetal and infant brain development, and that ...

Automated detection of focal epileptic seizures in a sentinel area of the human brain

August 17, 2018
Patients with focal epilepsy that does not respond to medications badly need alternative treatments.

Men and women show surprising differences in seeing motion

August 16, 2018
Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on August 16 have found an unexpected difference between men and women. On average, their studies show, men pick up on visual motion significantly faster than women do.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.