Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fast cerebellar networks compensate for inadequacies of the sensory system

27.06.2012
Biological control of body movements with its versatility and elegance remains unsurpassed compared to that of any man-made machine and continues to thrill and delight us, both by watching or by performing them ourselves.

Top athletes and other virtuosi can perform sequences of movements with a temporal precision of a millisecond (1/1000 second). However, how this is accomplished remains a mystery.

In a recent study published in the journal Nature communications by Fahad Sultan (Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University Hospital Tübingen) and colleagues the researchers were able to show that brain-networks that control movements work with remarkable temporal precision.

Using a combination of electrical stimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRT) the researchers could watch how the brain reacted to synthetic stimuli. In a collaboration between the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics within the Werner-Reichardt-Center for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN), the researchers showed in animal experiments with rhesus monkeys that stimulation of the cerebellum led to activities in widespread brain regions with a thousandth of a second precision.

The study could also demonstrate for the first time responses in brain regions that are known to deal with tactile, vestibular, visual and auditory sensory information processing. The results show that motor control and sensory perception are intertwined even at higher integration centers of the brain. The results also help to solve another problem. During the movement of an arm for example the sensory receptors signal the brain the state of the arm.

However due to the delays introduced by the nerve fibers slow conduction velocity, these information come too late to be of use for adjusting the movement by the brain. Scientists have suspected for some time that the cerebellum could provide for the solution. The cerebellum could provide forward models of motor plants predicting the sensory consequences of actions.

These results are of considerable relevance for understanding the consequences of diseases of the cerebellum for motion control and motion perception. Consequences that have to be taken into account for rehabilitation and so far have only been made on purely empirical methods. The results also have important consequences for robotics, which deals with similar problems in motor control.

Title publication: Cerebellar pathways project to motor and sensory parietal networks with high temporal precision.
Published 26.06.2012 in Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1912.
Authors: Fahad Sultan, Mark Augath, Salah Hamodeh, Yusuke Murayama, Axel Oeltermann, Alexander Rauch, Peter Thier.

Contacts

Dr. Fahad Sultan
Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH),
Universitätsklinikum Tübingen,
Zentrum für Neurologie
Telefon: 07071-2980464
E-Mail: fahad.sultan@uni-tuebingen.de
Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung
Externe Pressestelle :
Kirstin Ahrens
Telefon: 07073-500 724, Mobil: 0173-300 53 96
mail@kirstin-ahrens.de
Universitätsklinikum Tübingen
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Dr. Ellen Katz
Telefon: 07071-29 80 112
Mail: Ellen.Katz@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Kirstin Ahrens | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-tuebingen.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New technique for in-cell distance determination
19.03.2019 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Dalian Coherent Light Source reveals hydroxyl super rotors from water photochemistry
19.03.2019 | Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

Im Focus: Revealing the secret of the vacuum for the first time

New research group at the University of Jena combines theory and experiment to demonstrate for the first time certain physical processes in a quantum vacuum

For most people, a vacuum is an empty space. Quantum physics, on the other hand, assumes that even in this lowest-energy state, particles and antiparticles...

Im Focus: Sussex scientists one step closer to a clock that could replace GPS and Galileo

Physicists in the EPic Lab at University of Sussex make crucial development in global race to develop a portable atomic clock

Scientists in the Emergent Photonics Lab (EPic Lab) at the University of Sussex have made a breakthrough to a crucial element of an atomic clock - devices...

Im Focus: Sensing shakes

A new way to sense earthquakes could help improve early warning systems

Every year earthquakes worldwide claim hundreds or even thousands of lives. Forewarning allows people to head for safety and a matter of seconds could spell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Levitating objects with light

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique for in-cell distance determination

19.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Stellar cartography

19.03.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>