Central pattern generation and the motor infrastructure for suck, respiration, and speech

Steven M. Barlow, Meredith Estep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The objective of the current report is to review experimental findings on centrally patterned movements and sensory and descending modulation of central pattern generators (CPGs) in a variety of animal and human models. Special emphasis is directed toward speech production muscle systems, including the chest wall and orofacial complex during patterned motor output. Experimental results indicate that CPGs subserving orofacial motor behavior can be modulated via descending and sensory inputs. This feature of control may also operate in the control of other centrally patterned motor behaviors including speech breathing, suck, mastication, and the recombination of CPG processes for the development and production of speech. Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to: (1) define the salient characteristics of CPGs, (2) list five factors which influence the development and operation of a CPG over the lifespan, (3) define sensorimotor entrainment of CPGs, and (4) describe one new application for therapeutic training of the non-nutritive suck in premature infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-380
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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