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Your spinal cord is smarter than you think

Apr. 15, 2024.
1 min. read 5 Interactions

Learning without memory

About the Writer

Amara Angelica

174.38865 MPXR

Not shocked

Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan and colleagues have proved that motor (muscle movement) learning and memory are not solely confined to brain circuits.

Published in Science on April 11, the study found two critical groups of spinal cord neurons: one necessary for new adaptive learning, and another for recalling adaptations once they have been learned.

Ouch!

In an experiment, a mouse learned that dangling its legs too much avoided being electrically shocked, without learning and recall.

“Not only do these results challenge the prevailing notion that motor learning and memory are solely confined to brain circuits,” says Aya Takeoka at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan, “but we showed that we could manipulate spinal cord motor recall, which has implications for therapies designed to improve recovery after spinal cord damage.”

The findings could help scientists develop ways to assist motor recovery after spinal cord injury.

The findings could help scientists develop ways to assist motor recovery after spinal cord injury.

Citation: Lavaud, S., Bichara, C., Yeh, H., & Takeoka, A. (2024). Two inhibitory neuronal classes govern acquisition and recall of spinal sensorimotor adaptation. Science. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.adf6801

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