TitleRecruitment of Motoneurons.
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsThirumalai V, Jha U
Book TitleVertebrate Motoneurons (Series: Advances in Neurobiology)
Series Volume28
ISBN Number9783031071669
KeywordsHumans, Interneurons, Motor Neurons, Movement

Beginning about half a century ago, the rules that determine how motor units are recruited during movement have been deduced. These classical experiments led to the formulation of the 'size principle'. It is now clear that motoneuronal size is not the only indicator of recruitment order. In fact, motoneuronal passive, active and synaptic conductances are carefully tuned to achieve sequential recruitment. More recent studies, over the last decade or so, show that the premotor circuitry is also functionally specialized and differentially recruited. Modular sub networks of interneurons and their post-synaptic motoneurons have been shown to drive movements with varying intensities. In addition, these modular networks are under the influence of neuromodulators, which are capable of acting upon multiple motor and premotor targets, thereby altering behavioral outcomes. We discuss the recruitment patterns of motoneurons in light of these new and exciting studies.

AbbreviationAdv Neurobiol