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Descent SIGNED

Control of Action Diversification by Descending Motor CircuitsControl of action diversification by descending motor circuits

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "Descent" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BASEL
postcode: 4058

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 2˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 2˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Movement is the behavioral output of the nervous system. Animals carry out an enormous repertoire of distinct actions, spanning from seemingly simple repetitive tasks like walking to much more complex movements such as forelimb manipulation tasks. An important question is how neuronal circuits are organized and function to choose, maintain, adjust and terminate these many distinct motor behaviors. Recent technological advances in neuroscience have made it possible to begin to unravel the links between the organization of specific neuronal circuit elements in the CNS and the control of movement, a topic that will be central to this research program.

While past work proposes that supraspinal centers in the brainstem are instrumental to the control of action diversification, little is known about how brainstem circuits translate movement intention to body control, how competing motor programs are selected, and how behavioral state influences movement control. The goal of this research project is to unravel the circuit blueprint of mouse descending motor pathways at a fine-scale level and to probe the intersection between revealed circuit organization and their behavioral function at many levels. The focus will be on studies on the interactions between brainstem neurons and spinal circuits to determine how initiation, duration, termination and selection of motor programs are implemented through specific neuronal subpopulations. Mapping descending connectivity matrices of motor circuits will serve as entry point and we will make use of state-of-the art intersectional technology including mouse genetics, viral approaches, in vivo neuronal recordings and activity manipulations of specific neuronal populations during behavior. Together, our project will elucidate the circuit organization and function of the descending motor output system and thereby uncover principles of how the nervous system generates diverse actions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Aya Takeoka, Silvia Arber
Functional Local Proprioceptive Feedback Circuits Initiate and Maintain Locomotor Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury
published pages: 71-85.e3, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.03.010
Cell Reports 27/1 2019-10-29
2019 Ludwig Ruder, Silvia Arber
Brainstem Circuits Controlling Action Diversification
published pages: 485-504, ISSN: 0147-006X, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-070918-050201
Annual Review of Neuroscience 42/1 2019-10-29
2017 Silvia Arber
Organization and function of neuronal circuits controlling movement
published pages: 281-284, ISSN: 1757-4676, DOI: 10.15252/emmm.201607226
EMBO Molecular Medicine 9/3 2019-06-13
2017 Jinjin Wu, Paolo Capelli, Julien Bouvier, Martyn Goulding, Silvia Arber, Gilles Fortin
A V0 core neuronal circuit for inspiration
published pages: , ISSN: 2041-1723, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00589-2
Nature Communications 8/1 2019-06-13
2016 Ludwig Ruder, Aya Takeoka, Silvia Arber
Long-Distance Descending Spinal Neurons Ensure Quadrupedal Locomotor Stability
published pages: 1063-1078, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.10.032
Neuron 92/5 2019-06-13
2017 Paolo Capelli, Chiara Pivetta, Maria Soledad Esposito, Silvia Arber
Locomotor speed control circuits in the caudal brainstem
published pages: , ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/nature24064
Nature 2019-06-13
2018 Manuel J. Ferreira-Pinto, Ludwig Ruder, Paolo Capelli, Silvia Arber
Connecting Circuits for Supraspinal Control of Locomotion
published pages: 361-374, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.09.015
Neuron 100/2 2019-04-16
2017 Myungin Baek, Chiara Pivetta, Jeh-Ping Liu, Silvia Arber, Jeremy S. Dasen
Columnar-Intrinsic Cues Shape Premotor Input Specificity in Locomotor Circuits
published pages: 867-877, ISSN: 2211-1247, DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.10.004
Cell Reports 21/4 2019-04-16
2018 Matthias Heindorf, Silvia Arber, Georg B. Keller
Mouse Motor Cortex Coordinates the Behavioral Response to Unpredicted Sensory Feedback
published pages: 1040-1054.e5, ISSN: 0896-6273, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.07.046
Neuron 99/5 2019-04-16
2018 Silvia Arber, Rui M. Costa
Connecting neuronal circuits for movement
published pages: 1403-1404, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat5994
Science 360/6396 2019-04-16

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