7. Blog post

Reading about the neurological side of functioning of human motor system brought some new light for me for how our body functions. With various parts of the brain working together to produce the complex movements human body can produce when practiced enough, such as moves done by gymnastics and acrobats makes the system fascinating. Learning more about the motor system made me also get to know more about the neurological diseases related to motor system decline, such as ALS, Parkinsson’s and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Movement related disorders and the chapter in general reminded me of Oliver Sack’s book “The man who mistook his wife for a hat”. A book by a neurologist who gathered various cases about his patients with various neurological disorders.

In chapter 14 there was introduced a concept of mirror neurons which fire even when a person or a monkey is not performing the movement but rather only sees it happen. However, when the monkey saw a human pick the peanut with forceps the neuron didn’t fire. Was this because the monkey did not have a concept of picking a peanut with forceps or some other reason? What if the monkey was taught to pick peanuts with forceps, would the mirror neuron fire in this case?

Posted by Juha Laitinen

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