Walking on ice takes more than brains (‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord)

Press Release Walking on ice takes more than brains Salk scientists discover how a ‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord aids in balance Quote: LA JOLLA–Walking across an icy parking lot in winter–and remaining upright–takes intense concentration. But a new discovery suggests that much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with such a task happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a “mini-brain” to integrate sensory information and make the necessary adjustments to our muscles so that we don’t slip and fall. In a paper published January 29, 2015 in the journal Cell, Salk Institute scientists map the neural circuitry of the spinal cord that processes the sense of light touch

Press Release Walking on ice takes more than brains Salk scientists discover how a ‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord aids in balance Quote: LA JOLLA–Walking across an icy parking lot in winter–and remaining upright–takes intense concentration. But a new discovery suggests that much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with such a task happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a “mini-brain” to integrate sensory information and make the necessary adjustments to our muscles so that we don’t slip and fall. In a paper published January 29, 2015 in the journal Cell, Salk Institute scientists map the neural circuitry of the spinal cord that processes the sense of light touch

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Walking on ice takes more than brains (‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord)