About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Scientists Discover Speedometer in Our Brain that Keeps Pace With Speed of Movement

by Bidita Debnath on June 5, 2015 at 1:01 AM
Font : A-A+

Scientists Discover Speedometer in Our Brain that Keeps Pace With Speed of Movement

Researchers have discovered how the brain keeps pace with your speed while driving or finding your destination.

"The faster we move, the less time the brain has to take in environmental cues and to associate them with a location on our memorized spatial map. Our perception, therefore, has to keep pace with the speed of movement so that we remember the right way to go," explained lead researcher Stefan Remy from University of Bonn in Germany.


It has been known for some time that the hippocampus - the part of the brain that controls memory - particularly spatial memory - adjusts to the speed of locomotion. But how does the brain actually know how fast a movement is? Previously, there was no answer to this question.

Now, Remy and his colleagues have decoded the mechanism. For this, they stimulated specific areas within mouse brain and recorded the ensuing brain activity and the mice's locomotion. "We have identified the neural circuits in mice that link their spatial memory to the speed of their movement. This interplay is an important foundation for a functioning spatial memory," Remy said. "We assume that humans have similar nerve cells, as the brains of mice and humans have a very similar structure in these regions," Remy noted.

The cells in question are located in the "medial septum", a part of the brain directly connected to the hippocampus. They make up a relatively small group comprising a few thousand cells. They gather information from sensory and locomotor systems, determine the speed of movement and transmit this information to the hippocampus, Remy explained.

"We have found that they also give the start signal for locomotion and that they actively control its speed," the researcher said. These newly discovered nerve cells are linked with areas of the brain that are affected by Parkinson's in humans. This disease is associated with movement-related symptoms and can cause dementia.

"In this respect, our results go beyond the workings of spatial memory; they also have the potential to provide new insights into how memory systems and the execution of movements are affected in Parkinson's disease," Remy pointed out.

The study appeared in the journal Neuron.

Source: IANS


Recommended Reading

Latest Research News

 Blind People Feel Their Heartbeat Better Than Those With Sight
Brain plasticity following blindness leads to superior ability in sensing signals from the heart, which has implications for bodily awareness and emotional processing.
New Biomarkers Help Detect Alzheimer's Disease Early
A group of scientists were awarded £1.3 million to create a new “point of care testing” kit that detects Alzheimer's disease biomarkers.
Bone Health and Dementia: Establishing a Link
Is there a connection between Osteoporosis and dementia? Yes, loss in bone density may be linked to an increased risk of dementia in older age.
Is Telomere Shortening a Sign of Cellular Aging?
Link between chromosome length and biological aging marker discovered. The finding helps explain why people with longer telomeres have a lower dementia risk.
Why Is Integrated Structural Biology Important for Cystic Fibrosis?
Integrated structural biology helps discover how the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) works.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Scientists Discover Speedometer in Our Brain that Keeps Pace With Speed of Movement Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests