Research Topic

Subcortical and Spinal Control of Motor Networks Across Vertebrates

About this Research Topic

Motor functions that are essential for survival, such as feeding, breathing, escape, locomotion, and others, are produced by networks of neurons embedded in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In addition to the generation of volitional and reflexive movements, these networks also engage in the coordination of motor and autonomic responses.

In vertebrates, the requirements for control of movement vary with emergence of new body appendages or specializations (e.g., jaw, wing/fin/limb, thumb), as species adapt to their mode of living in aquatic, aerial or terrestrial environments. With the need for more advanced movements, additional networks with more complex inter- and intra-circuits connectivity and regulations arise. A typical example is the considerable development of the motor cortex and corticospinal tract that has allowed control of fractionated movement of fingers for unmatched dexterity in primates.

This Research Topic is devoted to the exploration of subcortical and spinal motor circuits producing essential motor functions, to provide a global understanding of how these motor functions integrate into neural building blocks across vertebrates. The Topic crosses the fields of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, molecular and computational neuroscience. We welcome submissions of mini reviews that offer perspectives on recent progress and directions for future research and original articles utilizing innovative technologies or experimental paradigms. Subjects include but are not limited to:

• Variability in motor network structure and use within and across species.
• Development of motor networks.
• Connectivity within and between motor networks.
• Initiation and regulation of activity in motor networks.
• Variability of motor patterns across behavioral contexts.
• Reorganization of motor networks by neuromodulators and/or peripheral sensory afferents.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Motor functions that are essential for survival, such as feeding, breathing, escape, locomotion, and others, are produced by networks of neurons embedded in the brainstem and the spinal cord. In addition to the generation of volitional and reflexive movements, these networks also engage in the coordination of motor and autonomic responses.

In vertebrates, the requirements for control of movement vary with emergence of new body appendages or specializations (e.g., jaw, wing/fin/limb, thumb), as species adapt to their mode of living in aquatic, aerial or terrestrial environments. With the need for more advanced movements, additional networks with more complex inter- and intra-circuits connectivity and regulations arise. A typical example is the considerable development of the motor cortex and corticospinal tract that has allowed control of fractionated movement of fingers for unmatched dexterity in primates.

This Research Topic is devoted to the exploration of subcortical and spinal motor circuits producing essential motor functions, to provide a global understanding of how these motor functions integrate into neural building blocks across vertebrates. The Topic crosses the fields of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, molecular and computational neuroscience. We welcome submissions of mini reviews that offer perspectives on recent progress and directions for future research and original articles utilizing innovative technologies or experimental paradigms. Subjects include but are not limited to:

• Variability in motor network structure and use within and across species.
• Development of motor networks.
• Connectivity within and between motor networks.
• Initiation and regulation of activity in motor networks.
• Variability of motor patterns across behavioral contexts.
• Reorganization of motor networks by neuromodulators and/or peripheral sensory afferents.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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