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We measured the forces produced at the cat's hindpaw by microstimulation of the lumbar spinal cord and the movements resulting from those forces. We also measured the forces and movements produced by co- and sequential activation of two intraspinal sites. Isometric force responses were measured at nine limb configurations with the paw attached to a force transducer. The active forces elicited at different limb configurations were summarized as patterns representing the sagittal plane component of the forces produced at the paw throughout the workspace. The force patterns divided into the same distinct types found with the femur fixed. The responses during simultaneous activation of two spinal sites always resembled the response for activation of one of the two sites, i.e., winner-take-all, and we did not observe vectorial summation of the forces produced by activation of each site individually as reported in chronic spinal animals. The movements produced by activation of each of the sites were consistent with the force orientations, and different movements could be created by varying the sequence of activation of individual sites. Our results highlight the absence of a vectorial summation phenomenon during intraspinal microstimulation in decerebrate animals, and the preservation during movement of the orientation of isometric forces.
Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:17 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2009