The Motor System

Larry W. Swanson

in Brain Architecture

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195378580
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199965120 | DOI:
The Motor System

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Development of the Nervous System


Show Summary Details


By definition the motor system is the output of the central nervous system and it controls both the somatic system of skeletal muscle for producing behavior, and the visceral system for regulating bodily vital functions. For this there are three different motor subsystems that are quite distinct in terms of network organization and function. The somatic motor system controls skeletal muscle and its final common pathway consists of motor neuron pools in ventral parts of the spinal cord, medulla, pons, and midbrain. The somatic motor system as a whole is hierarchically organized, with motor neuron pools at the bottom, followed by central pattern generators, central pattern initiators, and central pattern controllers at the top. The autonomic motor system has a two-stage output (preganglionic and postganglionic) and is divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions with unique structural organization, neurotransmitters, and functions. The neuroendocrine motor system has its motor neuron pools in the hypothalamus and is divided into magnocellular and parvicellular divisions controlling the posterior and anterior lobes of the pituitary gland, respectively.

Chapter.  12397 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Development of the Nervous System

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.