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New Insights into the Function of the Corticospinal System in Health and Disease

Weekly Seminar | Not Open to the Public
Who Should Attend: 


I will highlight a number of new findings about the organization and function of the corticospinal system which show it to be a multifunctional control system that has a rather different set of functions across different species. I will focus on corticospinal function in the primate.  The direct, cortico-motoneuronal system is found only in larger primates and is particularly well-developed in humans. Three other interrelated corticospinal features are specific to primates: the first is the presence of large, fast-conducting fibres that extend the range of corticospinal diameters from very small (~0.2 µm) to very large (>10 µm). The second is the presence of the fast K+ channel Kv3.1b in the soma and dendritic membrane of corticospinal neurons, and the third feature is very brief or ‘thin’ spikes, with a rapid recovery cycle, found in larger corticospinal neurons. Although these features provide primates, including humans, with an extremely versatile cortical control system, they also represent a serious vulnerability to trauma and disease, including spinal injury and ALS.

Primate Peeling Fruit


Roger N Lemon
Recent advances in our understanding of the primate corticospinal system
F1000Res. 2019 Mar 11;8:F1000 Faculty Rev-274. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.17445.1. eCollection 2019.
Roger N Lemon
The Cortical "Upper Motoneuron" in Health and Disease
Brain Sci. 2021 May 12;11(5):619. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11050619.
Roger N Lemon, Stuart N Baker, Alexander Kraskov
Classification of Cortical Neurons by Spike Shape and the Identification of Pyramidal Neurons
Cereb Cortex. 2021 Jun 12;bhab147. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhab147. Online ahead of print.


Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 12:30pm


Conference Room: 
Online Webinar

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Darlene White

Conditions & Recovery

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