Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run -- ScienceDailyThe researchers identify populations of 'start neurons' and show, for the first time, how the two regions in the midbrain can act both in common or separately to control speed and to select context dependent locomotor behaviours. "By identifying the midbrain 'start' neurons we complement a previous study where we found 'stop cells' in the brainstem that halt locomotion. Together, the start and stop cells define the episodic nature of locomotion," says Ole Kiehn. The study breaks new grounds in locomotor control and is important for understanding the normal brain function in mice. And the authors believe that the results might benefit humans with disabled locomotion as well.