• Locomotion;
  • Primates;
  • Neural control;
  • Gait


Patterns of interlimb coordination based on telemetered electromyography of extensor muscles are described for the brown lemur (Lemur fulvus) and the talapoin monkey (Miopithecus talapoin) in order to address the issue of possible motor programs for quadrupedal stepping in primates. Differences in modal patterns of ipsilateral limb coupling (phase intervals) between walking and galloping indicate that gait-specific programs do exist in primates, especially for symmetrical gaits. These preferred patterns distinguish primates from most other mammals (e.g., the domestic cat), but do not rule out the possibility of subtle differences among primates in species-specific mechanisms of neural control. Variability about the preferred modes is better interpreted as an expression of the flexibility or facultative capabilities of the neural mechanisms controlling locomotion than as “errors” in the motor program.