Dr. Gary Gillis, Mt. Holyoke College

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 1:10pm

Thompson Biology, 112 59 Lab Campus Dr, Williamstown, MA 01267

Dr. Gary Gillis, Mt. Holyoke College

Biology Department Colloquium

"Do toads have a jump on how far they hop: The neuromuscular control of landing in anurans"

Coordinated landing from a step, fall or jump requires a suite of muscle actions that must be put in place before impact. For example, in the legs of humans or forelimbs of monkeys and cats, activity in limb muscles during a jump begins in mid-air, prior to landing, and is scaled to the expected time and magnitude of impact. In other words, animals recruit more and more limb muscle to resist impact when jumping down from greater and greater heights (at least within a reasonable range of heights). In this talk I will provide evidence of similar results in anurans (frogs and toads), and will show that these changes in muscle recruitment patterns correlate well with muscle actions that may be important for preventing over-stretching and injury in those muscles.

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