HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Carnegie Mellon University research shows how sensory-deprived brain compensates

PITTSBURGH -- Whiskers provide a mouse with essential information to negotiate a burrow or detect movement that could signal a predator's presence. These stiff hairs relay sensory input to the brain, which shapes neuronal activity. In a first, studies of this system by Carnegie Mellon scientists show just how well a mouse brain can compensate when limited to sensing the world through one whisker. Published April 4 in the Journal of Neuroscience, the results should help shape future studies of sensory deprivation that results from stroke or traumatic brain injury, say the authors.

"Our findings are the first to show this degree of brain adaptability in a setting with significantly limited sensory input," said Alison Barth, assistant professor of biological sciences and a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition (CNBC). "This finding tells us that brain function is plastic, or reparable, when a sense like touch has been profoundly diminished. Plasticity is an important indicator that the brain is reorganizing to compensate for an injury or deficit."

For a decade, neuroscientists have known that the brain can increase its plasticity, or adapt, in response to injury that limits bodily motion. This latest study is the first to show such an impressive enhancement of brain activity in an animal with sensory loss. Losing sight, hearing, taste, smell or touch are common disabling side effects of traumatic brain injury and stroke.

In her study, Barth recorded brain activity in mice with various degrees of whisker removal. As a first step in her research, Barth removed all but one whisker and recorded neural activity in a brain region located on the opposite side of the animal. (Flicking a whisker on one side of a mouse stimulates a part of the brain on the animal's opposite side). Over the course of a week, Barth found that one whisker could not only stimulate a predicted cluster of neurons inside the brain; it could also
'"/>

Contact: Lauren Ward
wardle@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-7761
Carnegie Mellon University
17-Apr-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Carnegie Mellons Peter Adams receives EPA research grant
2. Carnegie Mellon scientists find key HIV protein makes cell membranes bend more easily
3. Carnegie Mellons David Sholl identifies new materials
4. Carnegie Mellon University scientists identify genes activated during learning and memory
5. Carnegie Mellon researchers urge regulators to rethink strategies for soot emission
6. Carnegie Mellon researcher proposes development of artificial cells to fight disease
7. Carnegie Mellon engineers devise new process to improve energy efficiency of ethanol production
8. DNA gets new twist: Carnegie Mellon scientists develop unique DNA nanotags
9. Carnegie Mellons Granger Morgan pens op-ed
10. Carnegie Mellon scientist plays key role in unveiling sea urchin genome
11. Carnegie Mellon study reveals that odor discrimination is linked to the timing at which neurons fire

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour ... from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. ... receptivity to a program where they would receive discounts ... company. "We were surprised to see that ... LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. (RCA), ... free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. ... no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the Regulatory ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: