Fourier Analysis of Intersegmental Coordination during Fictive Swimming in the Lamprey

  • W. L. Miller
  • K. A. Sigvardt


The control of rhythmic behavior by the nervous system is a subject of common interest to neuroscientists, clinicians, and engineers. One of the primary models of the neurobiology of rhythmic movement is the system of spinal neurons responsible for locomotion in the lamprey, a primitive fish. The lamprey swims by generating lateral undulatory waves of muscle contraction along the body. Smooth and efficient progression of the bending wave from one part of the body to the next requires precise coordination of the segment-to-segment phase delay in neural activity in the spinal cord. In addition, the lamprey maintains approximately one wavelength of curvature on its body at all times when swimming, independent of its swimming speed. Thus, the intersegmental phase lag must be maintained at a constant value of about 1% of the full wave between each neighboring pair of segments in the 100-segment animal.


Spike Train Central Pattern Generator Phase Spectrum Spike Time Significant Coherence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. L. Miller
    • 1
  • K. A. Sigvardt
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for NeuroscienceUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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