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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neck muscle spindle activity in the decerebrate, unparalyzed cat: dynamics and influence of vestibular stimulation.

1. Using floating electrodes, we recorded from neck-muscle spindle afferents in the C2 dorsal root ganglion of the decerebrate cat. Nerves to dorsal neck muscles were cut so that the afferents presumably originated mainly from ventral and ventrolateral perivertebral muscles and sternocleidomastoid. One goal of our experiments was to study possible vestibular influence exerted on these spindles via the fusimotor system. Unparalyzed preparations were therefore used. 2. Stimuli consisted of sinusoidal rotations in vertical planes. Neck tilt stretched neck muscles, whereas whole-body tilt stimulated vestibular receptors. 3. For each afferent we first determined the most effective direction of neck tilt, then used stimuli oriented close to this direction to study response dynamics, particularly gain of responses to stimuli of different amplitudes (0.5-7.5 degrees). 4. Three-quarters of the afferents failed to respond to 0.5 degrees, 0.2-Hz neck rotations. Stimuli that were effective usually elicited responses that had low gain and were linear over the whole range of amplitudes. Only a few afferents had behavior typical of spindle primary afferents: high-gain responses to small sinusoidal stimuli, gain decreasing as stimulus amplitude increases. This prevalence of static spindle responses in the unparalyzed cat is in striking contrast to results obtained on neck-muscle spindles in paralyzed, decerebrate cats, and on hindlimb extensor muscle spindles in decerebrate, unparalyzed cats. 5. Paralysis produced by injection of Flaxedil changed the behavior of 2/4 spindle afferents tested, causing the appearance of high-gain responses to 0.5 degrees stimuli and of nonlinear behavior.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. Neck muscle spindle activity in the decerebrate, unparalyzed cat: dynamics and influence of vestibular stimulation. Kasper, J., Wilson, V.J., Yamagata, Y., Yates, B.J. J. Neurophysiol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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