Fetz, Eberhard E. Department of Physiology and Biophysics, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
- Skeletal Muscle
- Skeletal muscle contraction
- Summation of contraction
- Motor units
- Components of Skeletal Motor System
- Segmental circuits
- Basal ganglia
- Cerebral cortex
- Motor Cortex
- Motor areas
- Eye and neck movements
- Effects of ablations
- Activity of cortical neurons
- Pyramidal tract
- Extrapyramidal systems
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Those portions of nervous systems that regulate and control the contractile activity of muscle and the secretory activity of glands. Muscles and glands are the two types of organ by which an organism reacts to its environment; together they constitute the machinery of behavior. Cardiac muscle and some smooth muscle and glandular structures can function independently of the nervous system but in a poorly coordinated fashion. Skeletal muscle activity, however, is entirely dependent on neural control. Destruction of the nerves supplying skeletal muscles results in paralysis, or inability to move. The somatic motor system includes those regions of the central nervous system involved in controlling the contraction of skeletal muscles in a manner appropriate to environmental conditions and internal states. This article discusses skeletal muscle innervation and contraction; the motor unit; and neural centers for motor control, particularly the motor cortex. See also: Gland; Muscle; Muscular system
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