Recovery of locomotion in monkeys with spinal cord lesions

J. A. Vilensky, A. M. Moore, E. Eidelberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations


This study reanalyzes kinematically (via film) the pre- and postoperative locomotor behavior of 4 of the 10 monkeys with partial spinal cord lesions (T8) briefly described by Eidelberg, Walden, and Nguyen (1981). The behavior of the remaining 6 monkeys is qualitatively described. The analysis reveals that 5 of the animals initially exhibited unilateral hind limb stepping. Hind and forelimb cycle durations often differed postoperatively; the hind limbs commonly showed increased values, whereas fore-limb cycle durations were reduced. Ipsilateral interlimb phase values were usually inconsistent. A review of prior studies of primate spinal cord lesions indicates that sparing of the ventrolateral quadrant may not be essential for locomotor recovery (cf. Eidelberg, Walden, and Nguyen, 1981). Furthermore, this review as well as the kinematic analysis indicates that primates with very significant spinal lesions can still exhibit locomotor movements. Thus, although the primate's spinal cord seems less able than other mammals’ to readily organize locomotor movements (Eidelberg, Walden, and Nguyen, 1981), the total absence of stepping in primates with completely transected cords is unexpected and warrants further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-296
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Motor control
  • Primates
  • Spinal cord
  • Stepping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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