HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
More than aiding balance, vestibular organs provide an on-line movement guidance system

Anyone who's had to find his or her way through a darkened room can appreciate that nonvisual cues play a large role in our sense of movement. What might be less apparent is that not all such cues come from our remaining four senses.

In a finding that broadens our understanding of human movement control, researchers at the Institute of Neurology in London have shown that the inner-ear vestibular organs provide what is essentially an on-line movement guidance system for maintaining the accuracy of whole-body movements.

The vestibular organs are commonly thought of as sensors that serve balance, the control of visual gaze, and higher spatial functions, such as navigation. However, because these organs respond to head movements, such as accelerations, they also have the potential to signal the accuracy of any voluntary movement that causes the head to move in space. The brain may then use that information for movement control in the same way that it uses sensory feedback information from the eyes, muscles, and skin to assess and adjust a limb movement as it is being executed.

In the new work, appearing in the August 9 issue of Current Biology, Brian Day and Raymond Reynolds of University College London show that the brain uses signals from the vestibular organs to make on-line adjustments to whole-body voluntary movements. The researchers were able to show this by precisely stimulating the vestibular sensory nerves through the skin while volunteers performed a simple upper-body movement. The researchers found that the stimulus altered the normal vestibular response to the upper-body movement and automatically caused the subjects to adjust their movement speed--and did so in a predictable way that depended on how the vestibular sensory nerves were stimulated. As one might expect when perturbing the guidance system, the effect of the nerve stimulation was only apparent in connection with body movement; the same stimulus had almost no effect when
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
8-Aug-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. New nanotechnology able to examine single molecules, aiding in determining gene expression
2. Fish species plays surprise role in aiding coral reef recovery
3. A year on from the Asian tsunami, satellites are aiding regional rebuilding
4. UCI researchers identify trigger for onset of Alzheimers, aiding search for new therapies
5. Scientists explore how complex organs develop from a simple bud
6. Study finds how organs monitor themselves during early development
7. Researchers discover which organs in Antarctic fish produce antifreeze
8. Vital organs in the Earth system: What is the prognosis?
9. New antifreeze protein found in fleas may allow longer storage of transplant organs
10. Protein linked to growth of organs and cancer
11. Discoveries by UAB and Florida scientists may help transplanted organs survive longer

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


(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... analysis of the bioinformatic market by reviewing the ... computer enabled tools that drive the field forward. ... report to: Identify the challenges and opportunities ... service providers and software solution developers, as well ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... Feb. 2, 2016   Parabon NanoLabs ... U.S. Army Research Office and the Defense Forensics ... sensitivity of the company,s Snapshot Kinship Inference ... and, more generally, defense-related DNA forensics.  Although Snapshot ... (predicting appearance and ancestry from DNA evidence), it ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 1, 2016  Today, ... Heart Association (AHA) announced plans to develop a first ... cognitive computing power of IBM Watson. In the first ... disease, AHA, IBM (NYSE: IBM ), and Welltok ... metrics and health assessments with cognitive analytics, delivered on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)...  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organization focused on the ethics ... made accessible to patients around the world, today announced that ... publication of the Good Pharma Scorecard an ... as one of BMJ Open ,s ,Most Popular Articles, ... most frequently read. Ed Sucksmith , assistant editor ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  Dovetail Genomics™ LLC today announced that ... for a planned metagenomic genome assembly service. Richard ... genome assembly method in a talk on Friday, February ... Technology conference in Orlando, Fla. ... datasets is difficult. Using its proprietary Chicago ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... 11, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells Group, ... Global Stem Cells Network (GSCN) to distribute exosome injection and other biological products ... Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Argentina, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... 10, 2016  The Maryland House of Delegates and ... that University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean ... of Maryland Medical System President and CEO Robert ... the highest honor given to the public by the ... Dean Reece and Mr. Chrencik for their contributions ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: