Earth Science News  





.
ABOUT US
Scientists study brain's 'body map'

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Jul 19, 2010
British scientists say they've discovered which part of the brain tells people where their hands, arms and legs are, even in the dark when they cannot see them.

The research shows that simple actions, like swatting a mosquito that has landed on an arm, requires a complex coordination of different sensory inputs for the brain to construct a constantly updated 'map' of the body in space, ScienceDaily.com reported Friday.

University College London scientists have identified a region of the brain called the parietal cortex that creates this map from touch information from the skin combined with "proprioceptive" or "self-aware" information about the position of a hand relative to the body.

"Our brain constantly keeps track of the movements of the limbs, so that we always know the posture of our body, even with our eyes closed," UCL neuroscientist Patrick Haggard said.

"Our results show, for the first time, how the brain updates this 'body space.' Our findings may be particularly relevant to children with developmental coordination disorder," he said.

"One underlying problem is their poor sense of where their limbs are in space. Our result identifies the specific part of the parietal cortex needed to construct this map of body space."

earlier related report
Brain cells vital to breathing identified
London (UPI) Jul 19, 2010 - Scientists say cells previously believed to act just as a "glue" between brain neurons have, in fact, a central role in the regulation of breathing in humans.

Astrocytes, named after their characteristic star shape, monitor levels of carbon dioxide in the blood and activate brain respiratory networks to increase a person's breathing to match metabolism and activity, ScienceDaily.com reported Friday.

The research could lead to understanding causes of devastating conditions associated with respiratory failure such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, ScienceDaily said.

Astrocytes are a type of brain cell called glial cells, from the Greek for "glue," the most numerous cell type in the human brain.

Once thought to merely serve as structural and nutritional support for the brain's neurons, glial cells like astrocytes play a much more important role, scientists say.

"This research identifies brain astrocytes as previously unrecognized crucial elements of the brain circuits controlling fundamental bodily functions vital for life, such as breathing, and indicates that they are indeed the real stars of the brain," said Dr Alexander Gourine, a researcher at University College London.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
All About Human Beings and How We Got To Be Here



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
ABOUT US
The Battle For News Supremacy
Columbia MO (SPX) Jul 19, 2010
A team of researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and two other schools say that even the top 60 citizen websites and bloggers are not filling the information shortfall that has resulted from cutbacks in traditional media. "While many of the blogs and citizen journalism sites have done very interesting and positive things, they are not even close to providing the l ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


ABOUT US
Voodoo rite draws Haitian faithful praying for comfort

27 missing after bus plunges off road in southwest China

The Life-Saving Capabilities Of Storm Shelters

World Bank-managed Haiti aid fund only 20 percent full

ABOUT US
Amazon says Kindle sales leapfrog hardback sales

Spanish channel announces 'world's first 3-D TV series'

One Tiny Satellite In Space, Whiz Kids Plan Two More

iPad and other gadgets drain Asia of electronic components

ABOUT US
Turkey, Turkish Cypriots sign water pipeline deal

Indian Ocean Sea-Level Rise Threatens Coastal Areas

Ancient species discovered in Barrier Reef depths

Sucking The Ocean Through A Straw

ABOUT US
Himalayan ice shrivels in global warming: exhibit

Footloose Glaciers Crack Up

Arctic Climate May Be More Sensitive To Warming Than Thought

US scientist in race to learn from Indonesia's dying glacier

ABOUT US
Hospitals urge antiobiotic-free meat

Thailand to unleash swarm of wasps on crop pest

AgBank shares to start trading in Hong Kong

China seizes eight tonnes of endangered pangolins

ABOUT US
Singapore to step up anti-flood measures after deluge

Flash floods stain Singapore's reputation as urban paradise

146 dead in China rainstorms and floods: state media

At least 67 dead as Typhoon Conson calms in China

ABOUT US
Kenya goes hi-tech to curb election fraud

Northrop Grumman Wins African Training Contract

G. Bissau president warns army top brass, drug traffickers

Religious intolerance threatens Nigerian democracy: Jonathan

ABOUT US
Scientists study brain's 'body map'

The Battle For News Supremacy

Malaysia's 'forgotten' tribes left behind by development

Baby Brain Growth Mirrors Changes From Apes To Humans


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement