Understanding How the Brain Instructs the Body

A recent study, from researchers at Caltech, sought to understand the way in which the brain gives commands to the body in order to aid patients with motor dysfunction stemming from neurological conditions or paralysis. The report is published in the online edition of Neuron.

Specifically, the scientist focused on the posterior parietal cortex, or PPC, an early part of the neural pathway of the motor cortex, the region of the brain that controls movement. They wanted to understand exactly how the PPC organizes and encodes information about how the body moves, especially when differentiating between imagined movements and actual movements. For example, how one can imagine moving their arm to reach for a ball without actually moving and whether this information is treated differently[…]

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