The Departure of Skill Memories from Motor Cortex: Deeper Directions for Neuroscience
Learning and Memory / Movement / Neuro News

The Departure of Skill Memories from Motor Cortex: Deeper Directions for Neuroscience

You probably have certain skills that I don’t.  Each of us, having spent enough time practicing something new, can become an expert.  A simple, ubiquitous example is driving a car with a manual transmission.  The precise sequence and timing of controlling the clutch, giving gas, and shifting the gears are challenging to coordinate when initially … Continue reading

Smooth Move: How GABAergic Interneurons Regulate Skilled Motor Behavior
Movement / Neuro News / SfN 2014

Smooth Move: How GABAergic Interneurons Regulate Skilled Motor Behavior

In early 2014, the American free-solo rock climber Alex Honnold climbed 2,500 feet of limestone without ropes.  The demanding route called El Sendero Luminoso in El Potrero Chico, Mexico required 3 hours of intense concentration and precise movements. One wrong move and the young climber would have fallen thousands of feet with catastrophic consequences. In … Continue reading

What Zebrafish Teach Us About Touch
Movement / Neuro News / Sensation and Perception / SfN 2014

What Zebrafish Teach Us About Touch

Unlike the sense of vision, which is perceived only by light-sensitive photoreceptors in our eyes, the mechanoreceptors that respond to light touch are located in sensory neurons all over the body.  Our sense of touch starts in the skin, where sensory neurons with elaborate dendrites just below the skin’s surface provide dense coverage over the … Continue reading

(Transneuronal) Attack of the Mutant Huntingtin!
Did You Know? / Movement / Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

(Transneuronal) Attack of the Mutant Huntingtin!

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an incredibly debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. Currently, there is no treatment that effectively reverses the progression of the disease or delays its onset. Huntington’s is a particularly difficult diagnosis because it is an autosomal dominant degenerative disease, meaning that any child of an affected parent has a 50% chance of inheriting the … Continue reading

ALS: An Infographic and the Ice Bucket Challenge
Brain Basics / Did You Know? / Movement

ALS: An Infographic and the Ice Bucket Challenge

The Knowing Neurons team accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! We nominate EyeWire, Kerri Smith of Neurpod, Dan Ariely, and Oliver Sacks!   ~ Infographic by Jooyeun Lee, Anita Ramanthan, Kate Fehlhaber, and Jillian Shaw. ~ References: Renton A.E. & Bryan J Traynor (2013). State of play in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genetics, Nature Neuroscience, 17 … Continue reading