Synaptic Variability Provides Adaptability For Rhythmic Motor Pattern

A well-trained athlete sprinting 100 yards performs a highly stereotyped, repetitive motor pattern. Neuroscientists understand that these rhythmic motor programs, such as walking, swimming and running, are produced by neural circuitry that generates repetitive patterns that are similar from cycle to cycle. Over a century ago, spinal cord experiments led…Continue readingSynaptic Variability Provides Adaptability For Rhythmic Motor Pattern

Motor Learning Increases AMPA Receptor Levels In Motor And Visual Cortex

A laser-assisted imaging tool was used by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers to observe what happens in brain cells of mice learning to reach out and grab a pellet of food. Their experiments, they say, add to evidence that such motor-based learning can occur in multiple areas of the brain, even…Continue readingMotor Learning Increases AMPA Receptor Levels In Motor And Visual Cortex

Suppression Of Incongruous Directional Signals Prevents Axon Misguidance

Motor neurons receive a multitude of cues to successfully navigate to their destinations in the body, report Salk Institute scientists. “There are 100 trillion connections in the nervous system governed by 20,000 genes, of which roughly 10 gene families are known to be involved in controlling axon guidance. We wanted…Continue readingSuppression Of Incongruous Directional Signals Prevents Axon Misguidance

An Internal Neural Metronome In The Supplementary Motor Area

A catchy tune on the radio, and suddenly we are tapping our foot and moving our bodies to the rhythm of the music. We can follow a beat because our motor neurons, the nerve cells that control movements, work together in circuits. During actions that require precise timing – such…Continue readingAn Internal Neural Metronome In The Supplementary Motor Area

BRAIN Initiative Completes Cell Census Of Mouse Motor Cortex

The NIH BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) has issued its first data release. Posted on a public web portal for researchers, it profiles molecular identities of more than 1.3 million mouse brain cells and anatomical data from 300 mouse brains – among the largest such characterizations to date. The…Continue readingBRAIN Initiative Completes Cell Census Of Mouse Motor Cortex

Neurons Derived From ALS Patients Display Hypo-excitability

Using a new method to measure electrical activity in cells, Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered that some neurons affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) display hypo-excitability. “The excitability changes observed in these patient neurons most likely represent the early steps in the disease process. The fact that these changes are…Continue readingNeurons Derived From ALS Patients Display Hypo-excitability

Motor Cortex Synchronicity Levels Influenced By Proximity & Social Status

Scientists have previously shown that when one animal watches another performing a motor task, such as reaching for food, so-called mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the observer’s brain start firing as though the observer were also reaching for food. New research from Duke University suggests mirroring in monkeys is…Continue readingMotor Cortex Synchronicity Levels Influenced By Proximity & Social Status