Queen's Researcher Discovers Spinal Cord's Ability to Process Information
March 23, 2011 4:43 PM
comment(s) - last by
A person's level of attention affects information processing in the spinal cord
It is well understood that
the brain holds many functions
, including the processing of information in all vertebrates and most invertebrates. But now, a researcher from the
Queen's MRI Facility
has found that the spinal cord is capable of processing information as well, and he is working to map this function in order to help bridge spinal cord injuries.
Dr. Patrick Stroman, study leader and director of the Queen's MRI Facility, has spent time mapping the function of the spinal cord, including its information processing capabilities. More specifically, he has studied the regions above and below spinal cord injuries in an effort to better understand both the injury and the appropriate treatment. In doing so, Stroman has
that could aid in bridging injuries on a spinal cord.
The technique consists of an MRI system taking multiple images of the spinal cord while temperature sensations are performed on the skin. These temperature sensations are varied, and cause certain areas of the spinal cord to react. The MRI then captures these reactions. This could be used to identify the injury that needs to be bridged.
While performing this technique, Stroman also realized that a persons level of attention affects the spinal cord's information processing. The MRI was able to capture spinal cord activity in those who were alert and those who were distracted by certain tasks.
"The effect of attention is one of the reasons that when you're playing sports and you get hurt, you often don't become aware of the injury until after the game when your attention and focus changes," said Stroman. "We already knew that a person's level of attention affects information processing in the brain, but this finding has made us aware that level of attention has to be properly controlled in research that aims to accurately map spinal cord function."
This research could improve treatment and technology for
spinal cord injuries
, and could also be applied to conditions such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis.
"Basic physiology books describe the spinal cord as a relay system, but it's part of the central nervous system and processes information just like parts of the brain do," added Stroman.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/25/2011 12:32:56 PM
what the Reapers need organics for! Network cables. It all makes sense now!
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
Human Astrocytes Used to Repair Spinal Cord Injuries in Rats
March 4, 2011, 1:25 PM
Visual Cortex Processes Language, Changes Understanding of Brain's Boundaries
March 1, 2011, 4:03 PM
Crowdfunded Sex Toy Lets You Control the Action From Your Wii Nunchuk
January 15, 2015, 3:42 PM
Elon Musk Plays Warcraft; But Still Finds Time to Sleep, Build a Mars Colony Ship
January 6, 2015, 9:54 PM
SpaceX Scrubs Falcon 9 Launch to ISS, Barge Landing Test, Friday Redo Targeted
January 6, 2015, 4:02 PM
Quick Note; Wreckage of Malaysian-Owned Passenger Jet Found
December 30, 2014, 12:42 PM
Quick Note: Drone Loses Fight to the Death With Kangaroo
December 23, 2014, 3:28 PM
Campbell's Monkeys Found to Use Different Dialects to Describe Local Threats
December 22, 2014, 3:52 PM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Shows Off Latest Windows 10 Build, Preps it for Next Week Release
January 21, 2015, 2:57 PM
Under the Hood: How DirectX 11.3 and 12 Will Supercharge Windows 10 Gaming
January 23, 2015, 12:34 PM
Police are Using New Handheld Radar Sensors to Peer Into Houses w/out Warrant
January 20, 2015, 1:35 PM
BlackBerry CEO Claims Devs are Violating Net Neutrality by Not Supporting BB10
January 22, 2015, 4:37 PM
Report: Samsung Drops Snapdragon 810 From Galaxy S6, Will Use Its Own Chips
January 21, 2015, 1:47 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information