This week’s course plan consisted of an excursion to Aalto Neuroimaging Infrastructure instead of the typical lecture. In this excursion, students were exposed to workings in fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), MEG (Magnetoencephalography), nTMS (navigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), as well as a visit to ABL (Aalto Behavioral Laboratory). The visit allowed us to see in practice what Aalto researchers are working on, and how these imaging techniques can be utilized on the topics we’re studying during this course.
This week’s exercise session consisted of the discussion/answers of some previous quizzes that hadn’t been discussed yet, as well as the assigned exercise on the motor system. On this topic, we know that motor control can be dived into spinal control movement and muscle contraction, and brain movement, both the themes of the exercise’s essays. Motor neurons can be of the upper or lower type, upper delivering signals to the spinal cord, and lower innervating the somatic muscles. Within lower motor neurons, the classification can then branch into alpha motor neurons, responsible for muscle contraction, and gamma motor neurons, responsible for the input of the muscle spindle. The connection between upper and lower motor neurons is mainly achieved through the transmission of glutamate.