Grading Movement Strength by Changes in Firing Intensity versus Recruitment of Spinal Interneurons

Dimple H. Bhatt, David L. McLean, Melina E. Hale, Joseph R. Fetcho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Animals can produce movements of widely varying speed and strength by changing the recruitment of motoneurons according to the well-known size principle. Much less is known about patterns of recruitment in the spinal interneurons that control motoneurons because of the difficulties of monitoring activity simultaneously in multiple interneurons of an identified class. Here we use electrophysiology in combination with in vivo calcium imaging of groups of identified excitatory spinal interneurons in larval zebrafish to explore how they are recruited during different forms of the escape response that fish use to avoid predators. Our evidence indicates that escape movements are graded largely by differences in the level of activity within an active pool of interneurons rather than by the recruitment of an inactive subset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-102
Number of pages12
JournalNeuron
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 4 2007

Keywords

  • SYSBIO
  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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