Wiping Reflex in the Frog: Movement Patterns, Receptive Fields, and Blends

  • M. B. Berkinblit
  • A. G. Feldman
  • O. I. Fukson


Chemical stimulation of a site on the skin of the back anterior to the iliosacral joint in high spinal frogs usually elicits a rostral wiping reflex, in which the tip of the hindlimb rubs against the site; stimulation of a site near the anus elicits a caudal wiping reflex in which the heel or side of the foot rubs against the site. The spinal frog also generates (i) a sequence of rostral-caudal wiping reflexes in response to stimulation of a site in the transition zone located between the rostral wiping receptive field (RF) and the caudal RF and (ii) a lateral wiping reflex to stimulation of a site on a side of the body. Rostral, caudal ipsilateral, and caudal contralateral wiping forms can be executed in a variable sequence to stimulation of a site in the transition zone. The map of the RFs of various wiping forms depends on the level of spinal cord transection. At a low level of transection the rostral RF can disappear, whereas the transition zone between the two RFs becomes a pure RF for a caudal wiping form. In rare cases, both intact and high spinal frogs generate an ineffective hybrid wiping reflex to stimulation of a site in the transition zone: the hindlimb then takes a conflict configuration in which the distal joints behave as in a rostral wiping, whereas the proximal joints do as in a caudal wiping. This conflict is solved by the spinal cord: after a time delay, it re-organizes the hindlimb and performs a pure wiping reflex. Thus, the spinal cord has the adaptive ability to correct occasional errors without descending neural inputs from supraspinal structures. Various aspects of the sensorimotor parallel-hierarchical organization of the wiping reflex are discussed.


Transition Zone Receptive Field Motor Pattern Movement Strategy Command Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. B. Berkinblit
    • 1
  • A. G. Feldman
    • 1
  • O. I. Fukson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Information Transmission ProblemsAcademy of Sciences and Moscow State UniversityMoscowUSSR

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