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How the spinal cord can ‘learn’ and respond

Updated: Apr 23



Researchers in Belgium, using mice, have uncovered how the spinal cord can learn and memorise responses to possible threats, without needing the brain.


Although a key function of the spinal cord is the control of simple behaviours, such as reflexive movements, by relaying signals between the brain and body, it can also work in a more complex and independent way by ‘learning’ how to adapt its responses to different situations. 


Researchers previously did not know how the spinal cord did this and this new study offers insights into how to treat spinal cord injuries. 


The study at Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders (NERF), a centre at EARA members VIB and KU Leuven, and technology company Imec, has shown that two different groups of neurons in the spinal cord are responsible for this adaptive ability – one group helps with the learning of a new movement, while the other helps it remember and perform the movement later. 


The team discovered this by studying mice that had the connection between their spinal cords and brain severed. These animals still reacted to a mild electric shock by moving their back legs, showing that the spinal cord could send and receive signals independently of the brain.


The researchers also showed that the animals’ legs had ‘learned’ this movement, even when they were put in a different scenario. 

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3件のコメント


3 vex
3 vex
4月26日

It all hinges on how readily you can generate larger words and strategically put letters to extract information. nytimes crossword


Finding the words, in my experience, puts you to the test.

いいね!

kuer polin
kuer polin
4月25日

The reflex function of the spinal cord is assumed by gray matter. This type of reflex is a natural, instinctive reflex to protect the body from stimuli from the external environment. Quick Draw

いいね!

Edward Hooper
Edward Hooper
4月22日

Although a key function of the spinal cord is the control of simple behaviours, such as reflexive movements, it can also work in a more complex and independent way by ‘learning’ how to adapt its responses to different snake game situations.

いいね!
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