Signalling controlling forelimb movement
Behavior is orchestrated within distributed circuits and constructed by piecing together different movements. The brainstem contains specialized neuronal populations dedicated to the control of specific actions, including skilled forelimb movements and locomotion. It receives inputs from the substantia nigra reticulata (SNR), a major output of the basal ganglia. However, it remains poorly understood how the brainstem processes these inputs to start actions. Thus, the SNR-brainstem system is ideal for understanding the mechanisms underlying behavior initiation and control. The EU-funded StartAct project will investigate the impact of SNR signaling on the activity of specific brainstem neurons when a mouse initiates forelimb movements. It will elucidate the architecture of SNR to brainstem connections and how it supports the forelimb movement, opening new horizons in the treatment of diseases characterized by impairment in self-initiated actions.
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