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Where Are My Legs?: Spatial and Temporal Requirements of Proprioception for Locomotor Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury

Weekly Seminar
Who Should Attend: 


Guest Speaker
Aya Takeoka, Ph.D.
VIB Assistant Professor
Faculty of Biomedicine, Neuroscience Department

Proprioceptive feedback from muscle spindles and tendons is essential for locomotor control and recovery after spinal cord injury. Using an intersectional approach of mouse genetics and circuit manipulation techniques, we assessed age-dependent plasticity of the sensorimotor circuits. Removal of the feedback circuit in adults more significantly impacts coherent locomotor performance than during development, indicating age-dependent circuit plasticity can compensate for lack of feedback. Following spinal cord injury, elimination of proprioceptive afferents below lesion severely restricted spontaneous recovery, suggesting that proprioceptive circuits directly impact segmental spinal circuits to enhance recovery. In parallel, the afferents increased their connectivity repertoire to the local spinal circuits caudal to lesion, presumably to compensate for disrupted descending input. Lastly, the feedback remains necessary for maintenance of regained locomotor ability after injury and not simply to guide circuit reorganization. Together our study demonstrates that proprioceptive feedback directly influence circuit plasticity to accommodate locomotor capacity.

Dr. Aya Takeoka Figure


Ruder L, Takeoka A, Arber S.
Long-Distance Descending Spinal Neurons Ensure Quadrupedal Locomotor Stability.
Neuron. 2016 Dec 7;92(5):1063-1078. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.10.032. Epub 2016 Nov 17.
Basaldella E, Takeoka A, Sigrist M, Arber S.
Multisensory Signaling Shapes Vestibulo-Motor Circuit Specificity.
Cell. 2015 Oct 8;163(2):301-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.09.023.
Takeoka A, Vollenweider I, Courtine G, Arber S.
Muscle spindle feedback directs locomotor recovery and circuit reorganization after spinal cord injury.
Cell. 2014 Dec 18;159(7):1626-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.11.019.


Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 12:30pm


785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
United States
Conference Room: 
Billings Building – Rosedale

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