Neural model for modifiable pattern generation in the scratch reflex

R. Shadmehr, G. D. Lindquist

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We have approached the problem of translating sensory information to a coordinated pattern of muscular activation by designing a neuronal model for the initial positioning of the cat's hindlimb and its rhythmic behavior in the scratch reflex. The scratch reflex is a behavior where tactile stimulation on the neck region of a spinalized cat will lead to a two phase response. Initially, the animal positions the hindlimb so that it's paw can reach the irritation site (positioning phase). This is then followed by an oscillatory wiping motion (rhythmic phase). Since the spinal circuitry is capable of producing these complex motor patterns, it is held that a neural network residing wholly in the spinal cord must exist that contains all the necessary details for control of this reflex. Understanding the mechanism, by which the animal maps the site of irritation on the skin onto a neuronal circuitry that is capable of generating a temporal pattern of muscular activation, can be beneficial for engineering a system in which spatial input is transformed to a coordinated motor output.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359
Number of pages1
JournalNeural Networks
Issue number1 SUPPL
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Neural Network Society 1988 First Annual Meeting - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Sep 6 1988Sep 10 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural model for modifiable pattern generation in the scratch reflex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this