Remapping the brain’s map
I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality.
They are not just parts somehow related to each other,
but an inseparable whole while functioning.
— Moshe Feldenkrais
Neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield’s research in the 1930s revolutionized our understanding of how the brain coordinates movement. By stimulating the exposed cortex of patients under brain surgery and tracking the responses, Penfield mapped the regions on the right and left sides of the brain that control the movement of specific parts of the body. Each of these regions of the motor cortex is laid as a distorted image of the body known as the homunculus.
Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently published a paper in Nature revealing areas of the homunculus that have nothing to do with movement. Instead, these places are connected to regions of the brain concerned with controlling blood pressure, heart rate, and other physiological functions, as well as with arousal, planning, thinking, and pain. Even more interesting, they become active when someone thinks about moving.
You can read more about this fascinating physical basis for the link between the body and mind, known as the Somato-Cognitive Action Network, or SCAN, here.
Tip of my hat to KB for letting me know about this research.
The image above is from a photo I took of David Byrne holding the model of a brain during the performance of American Utopia.
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Thank you so much for sending this article.
Sounds very interesting.
Hello March –
There are actually links to two articles in this post. The first is the original articles in Nature and the second is one about the study. I could have been clearer about that!
Take good care,
this article in Scientific American by the study authors is very readable and contextualizes their findings:
Thank you, Claudius, so much for sharing this Scientific American article!
Thanks for your articles. I always enjoy to read them!
Thank you so much, Brigitte!
That´s so cool you can reply to yourself!
Next thing after this (second) mind blowing discovery what to say to myself?
First thing to come into my mind is : what do you mean by “whaaaoooo!”
Isn´t that dum? Sort of…
Next question rising: how many free words do I get in this little free space before I get cut down to my roots.
So far so good.
Please dear Larry and coworkers in the Larry´s team let my message go through of the ordeal of junk answers, specially with consideration to the high scientific quality of my input. If you don´t I will never buy anything from you any more. I put a halvhearted “:-)” at the end of this message in case your sense of humor and compassion is a little weak. BUT I´m an optimistic and hope for the best. Please do not disappoint me because my heart would bleed and you don´t want that, do you?
Hello Benoit –
You’re the first person who responded to himself. Now I know that’s possible – thanks for the educational moment.