Nonlinear Input-Output Functions of Motoneurons

Marc D. Binder, Randall K. Powers, C. J. Heckman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


All movements are generated by the activation of motoneurons, and hence their input-output properties define the final step in processing of all motor commands. A major challenge to understanding this transformation has been the striking nonlinear behavior of motoneurons conferred by the activation of persistent inward currents (PICs) mediated by their voltage-gated Na+ and Ca2+ channels. In this review, we focus on the contribution that these PICs make to motoneuronal discharge and how the nonlinearities they engender impede the construction of a comprehensive model of motor control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology (Bethesda, Md.)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • input-output function
  • motoneuron
  • nonlinear behavior
  • persistent inward currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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