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Motor Control (Supraspinal Mechanisms) Notes

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Lecture 21 & 22 Motor Control: Supraspinal Mechanisms

Motor system: three levels of control o CEREBRAL CORTEX
 Direct projections from here to spinal cord
 Parallel projections from brain stem o BRAINSTEM
 CVS and respiratory control
 Muscle control o SPINAL CORD
 Able to function, even when disconnected from rest of brain
 Own sophisticated neuronal control Organisation of motor system o Parallel
 Because each level issues commands that act directly on lowest level
 If one part of motor system is damaged other parts can compensate o HIERACHICAL
 Motor system organised into series of functional levels
 Higher levels provide commands for lower levels
 Army picture in book Damage o Lower level damage: specific deficit
 Defect is immediate
 Limited, specific jobs not done
 Localised legion and specific deficit o Higher level damage
 At first, nothing may seem wrong
 But long term planning lost
 New planning as lower commanders released from higher centres

• Upper motor neuron lesion

• Toes fan out (in babies as descending pathway underdeveloped) Effects of transaction at different levels of CNS o Lesion dividing spinal cord from CNS (lower motor neuron legion- level of C1)
 Spinal prep
 Flaccid paralysis
 Loss of both voluntary and muscle tone o Lesion dividing upper and lower brainstem (level of colliculi)
 Decerebrate prep
 Decerebrate rigidity
 Muscle stiffness due to release from upper brain stem control o Lesion dividing cerebrum from upper brainstem (level of upper reticular formation)
 Decorticate prep
 Spasticity-Exaggerated reflexes
 Release from cerebral control Organisational features of motor system

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