Physiological Reviews

Principles of rhythmic motor pattern generation

E. Marder, R. L. Calabrese


Rhythmic movements are produced by central pattern-generating networks whose output is shaped by sensory and neuromodulatory inputs to allow the animal to adapt its movements to changing needs. This review discusses cellular, circuit, and computational analyses of the mechanisms underlying the generation of rhythmic movements in both invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. Attention is paid to exploring the mechanisms by which synaptic and cellular processes interact to play specific roles in shaping motor patterns and, consequently, movement.