According to a study published by University of Arkansas researchers on April 18, an unexpected division of labor occurs between neurons in the motor cortex of the brain. It was claimed that the findings could bring scientists one step closer to how the brain controls the body and shed light on certain nervous diseases.
Experimenting on the motor cortex of the mouse brain, researchers discovered that neurons were divided into two groups. The first group was called “externally focused” neurons. This group of neurons can control and interact with various parts of the body. The second group of neurons, called “intrinsically focused”, can only interact with each other and do not send any signals to other parts of the body. In addition, when inhibition is increased in neurons in the motor cortex, externally focused neurons can turn into internally focused neurons.
Associate Professor of Physics, Woodrow Shew, made a statement saying, “Changes in inhibitory signals have caused many brain diseases.” “When we increased the inhibition in the motor cortex, the neurons responsible for governing the body became more internally focused neurons. “This suggests that the signals sent from the motor cortex to the muscles may be disrupted by ‘mixed’ internal signals that are not normally found in the brain.”
Rett Syndrome, a rare but serious neurological disorder, is one of the brain diseases associated with increased inhibition in the brain. Based on their findings, Shew plans to further investigate the possible effects of Rett Syndrome.