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Feb 11, 2019

Spinal cord is ‘smarter’ than previously thought

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, space travel

Turns out it is smarter than we think.

It is well known that the circuits in this part of our nervous system, which travel down the length of our spine, control seemingly simple things like the pain reflex in humans, and some motor control functions in animals.

Now, new research from Western University has shown that the spinal cord is also able to process and control more complex functions, like the positioning of your hand in external space.

“This research has shown that a least one important function is being done at the level of the spinal cord and it opens up a whole new area of investigation to say, ‘what else is done at the spinal level and what else have we potentially missed in this domain?’” said the study’s senior and supervising researcher Andrew Pruszynski, PhD, assistant professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Canada Research Chair in Sensorimotor Neuroscience.

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