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1.  Genetic Dissection of Rhythmic Motor Networks in Mice 
Progress in brain research  2010;187:19-37.
Simple motor behaviors such as locomotion and respiration involve rhythmic and coordinated muscle movements that are generated by central pattern generator (CPG) networks in the spinal cord and hindbrain. These CPG networks produce measurable behavioral outputs, and thus represent ideal model systems for studying the operational principles that the nervous system uses to produce specific behaviors. Recent advances in our understanding of the transcriptional code that controls neuronal development have provided an entry point into identifying and targeting distinct neuronal populations that make up locomotor CPG networks in the spinal cord. This has spurred the development of new genetic approaches to dissect and manipulate neuronal networks both in the spinal cord and hindbrain. Here we discuss how the advent of molecular genetics together with anatomical and physiological methods has begun to revolutionize studies of the neuronal networks controlling rhythmic motor behaviors in mice.
PMCID: PMC3056116  PMID: 21111198
locomotion; respiration; spinal cord; CPG; interneuron; mouse genetics

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