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:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... The research team of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ... adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and matching technology, pushing ... for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, security of access ... ... A research team led by Dr Ajay ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CHICAGO , March 29, 2017  higi, the ... ecosystem in North America , today ... Partners and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment ... extensive set of tools to transform population health activities ... and lifestyle data. higi collects and secures ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply for any work ... which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one ... with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased ... of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are ... - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For the second time ... US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. ... US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program ... honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and ... 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: