Stepping in Humans with Complete Spinal Cord Transection: A Phylogenetic Evaluation

in Motor Control
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In this paper we review the literature on stepping in nonhuman and human primates with complete transection of the spinal cord and consider these data relative to the principle of “encephalization” of motor functions with ascension in phylogeny. We conclude that techniques useful for producing self-generated stepping behavior in nonprimates with complete spinal cord transection may not be successful in humans and other higher primates with complete transection.

Joel A. Vilensky is with the Department of Anatomy, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2101 Coliseum Blvd., E., Fort Wayne, IN 46805. Brian L. O'Connor is with the Department of Anatomy, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

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