Canonical Motor Microcircuit for Control of a Rat Hindlimb

Clayton Jackson*, William R.P. Nourse, C. J. Heckman, Matthew Tresch, Roger D. Quinn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This work focuses on creating a controller for the hip joint of a rat using a canonical motor microcircuit. It is thought that this circuit acts to modulate motor neuron activity at the output stage. We first created a simplified biomechanical model of a rat hindlimb along with a neural model of the circuit in a software tool called Animatlab. The canonical motor microcircuit controller was then tuned such that the trajectory of the hip joint was similar to that of a rat during locomotion. This work describes a successful method for hand-tuning the various synaptic parameters and the influence of Ia feedback on motor neuron activity. The neuromechanical model will allow for further analysis of the circuit, specifically, the function and significance of Ia feedback and Renshaw cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomimetic and Biohybrid Systems - 11th International Conference, Living Machines 2022, Proceedings
EditorsAlexander Hunt, Vasiliki Vouloutsi, Kenneth Moses, Roger Quinn, Anna Mura, Tony Prescott, Paul F. Verschure
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783031204692
StatePublished - 2022
Event11th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 19 2022Jul 22 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13548 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference11th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2022
CityVirtual, Online


  • Canonical Motor Microcircuit
  • Neuromechanical simulation
  • Rat
  • Renshaw cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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