Even after complete spinal paralysis, the human spinal cord is able to trigger activity in the leg muscles using electrical pulses from an implanted stimulator. Now researchers have succeeded in identifying the mechanisms the spinal cord uses to control this muscle activity. These mechanisms still work even if the neural pathways from the brain are physically interrupted as the result of a spinal cord injury. This is the first time throughout the world that the spinal-cord activation patterns for walking have been decoded.
FULL ARTICLE in BRAIN (A Journal of Neurology): Human spinal locomotor control is based on flexibly organized burst generators
Science 2.0: Burst Generators: How the brain does what the spinal cord thinks
SCIENCE DAILY: The brain thinks, the spinal cord implements: Research team identifies important control mechanisms for walking