This collection of contributions on the subject of the neural mechanisms of sensorimotor control resulted from a conference held in Cairns, Australia, September 3-6, 2001. While the three of us were attending the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) Congress in St Petersburg, Russia, in 1997, we discussed the implications of the next Congress being awarded to New Zealand. We agreed to organise a satellite to this congress in an area of mutual interest -the neuroscience of movement and sensation. Australia has a long-standing and enviable reputation in the field of neural mechanisms of sensorimotor control. Arguably this reached its peak with the award of a Nobel Prize to Sir John Eccles in 1963 for his work on synaptic transmission in the central nervous system. Since that time, the subject of neuroscience has progressed considerably. One advance is the exploitation of knowledge acquired from animal experiments to studies on conscious human subjects. In this development, Australians have achieved international prominence, particularly in the areas of kinaesthesia and movement control. This bias is evident in the choice of subject matter for the conference and, subsequently, this book. It was also decided to assign a whole section to muscle mechanics, a subject that is often left out altogether from conferences on motor control. Cairns is a lovely city and September is a good time to visit it.
Foreword. Preface. Section I: Impulse Initiation and Central Transmission from Muscle and Skin. Preface. 1. Signalling Properties of Muscle Spindles and Tendon Organs; U. Proske, J.E. Gregory. 2. Evidence for Activity-Dependent Modulation of Sensory-Terminal Excitability in Spindless by Glutamate Release of Synaptic-Like Vesicles; R.W. Banks, et al. 3. Electrophysiology of Conreal Cold Receptor Nerve Terminals; R.W. Carr, J.A. Brock. 4. Discharge Properties of Group III and IV Muscle Afferents; M.P. Kaufman, et al. 5. Effects of Activity on Axonal Excitability: Implications for Motor Control Studies; D. Burke. 6. Reflexes in the Hand: Strong Synaptic Coupling Between Single Tactile Afferents and Spinal Motoneurones; P. McNulty, V. Macefield. 7. The Synaptic Linkage for Tactile and Kinaesthetic Inputs to the Dorsal Column Nuclei; M.J. Rowe. Section II: Proprioception in Limb Movements. Preface. 8. Proprioception: Peripheral Inputs and Perceptual Interactions; S.C. Gandevia, et al. 9. Adaptation to Coriolis Force Perturbation of Movement Trajectory; J.R. Lackner, P. DiZio. 10. Velocity Perception and Proprioception; G.K. Kerr, C.J. Worringham. 11. Effect of Muscle Contraction on Kinaesthesia; A.K. Wise, J.B. Fallon. 12. Proprioception and Joint Pathology; K.M. Refshauge. Section III: Afferent Contributions to Balance and Posture. Preface. 13. Consequences and Assessment of Human Vestibular Failure; J.G. Colebatch. 14. The Role of Cutaneous Receptors in the Foot; J.T. Inglis, et al. 15. What does Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation Stimulate? D.L. Wardman, R.C. Fitzpatrick. 16. Sensory Interactions for Human Balance Control Revealed by Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation; B.L. Day, et al. 17. Vestibulospinal Control of Posture; F.B. Horak, et al. 18. Sensory Contributions to the Control of Stance; T. Mergner, et al. Section IV: Motoneurones and Motor Units. Preface. 19.Selectivity of the Central Control of Sensory Information in the Mammalian Spinal Cord; P. Rudomin. 20. Some Unresolved Issues in Motor Unit Research; R.E. Burke. 21. Presynaptic and Disynaptic Inhibition Induced by Group I Muscle Afferents; A. Schmied, et al. 22. Things We Know and Do Not Know about Motoneurones; D. Kernell. 23. A New Way of Using Modelling to Estimate the Size of a Motoneurone's EPSP; P.B.C. Matthews. 24. What can be Learned about Motoneurone Properties from Studying Firing Patterns; R.K. Powers, et al. 25. Relative Strengths and Distributions of Different Sources of Synaptic Input to the Motoneurone Pool; M.D. Binder, et al. 26. Plateau Potentials and Their Role in Regulating Motoneuronal Firing; H. Hultborn. 27. Mechanisms Causing Plateau Potentials in Spinal Motoneurones; A. Alaburda, et al. 28. Recent Evidence for Plateau Potentials in Human Motoneurones; D.F. Collins, et al. 29. Patterns of Pathological Firing in Human Motor Units; C.K. Thomas, et al. Section V: Propriospinal Neurones and Spinal Reflexes. Preface. 30. Reflections on Spinal Reflexes;