New knowledge on how different brain cell types contribute to our movements

ScienceDaily | 1/28/2020 | Staff
darktm22darktm22 (Posted by) Level 4
Many behaviours occur in response to sensory input from our environment. For example, when playing a new piece on the piano, we adjust our finger movements according to the sound we hear and the sensory feedback from the keys. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden aimed to increase our understanding of how this works by studying the neuronal network that allows us to align our planned movements to sensory information such as touch. The nerve cells (neurons) that underlie this function are in the striatum, which is part of a larger structure in the brain called the basal ganglia.

While playing piano, sensory feedback from our fingertips is processed in the somatosensory cortex, the brain area specialised for touch. Movements are planned in a separate part of the brain called motor cortex. Information from the somatosensory cortex, the motor cortex and other brain areas such as thalamus are sent to the striatum, which is the first instance where movement plans and sensory information are combined. Based on the broad information delivered by these inputs, the striatum is able to generate a precisely timed output signal that is sent back to the muscles and allows us to press the next keys correctly on the piano.

Striatum - Types - Nerve - Cells - Cells

"Although it has long been known that the striatum is composed of different types of nerve cells, it is unclear how striatal cells achieve this complex function," says Yvonne Johansson, PhD student at the Department...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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