Monday, April 23, 2018 | ePaper

The exact timing of voluntary movements

  • Print


Life Desk :
Almost all our activities such as walking, talking, or drinking coffee are completely dependent on accurate timing when activating many muscles at once.
The prevailing theory has been that the exact timing of this type of movement is not voluntarily controlled, and the timing has therefore been assumed to be fully automated when learning movements. However, researchers at Lund University in Sweden now argue that this may be wrong. A new study shows that people are fully capable of controlling their blinking with a time precision that was previously believed not to be possible.
'The fact that the movements can be controlled at will also shows that the cerebral cortex, perhaps through cooperation with the cerebellum, can play an important role in terms of timing.'
It has long been known that both animals and humans, through a type of learning known as eyeblink conditioning, can learn to blink in response to a tone with a precision of some tens of milliseconds.
Previous studies have shown that eyeblink conditioning is dependent on the cerebellum and, so far, it has been assumed that the precise timing is completely automatic.
When researchers Anders Rasmussen and Dan-Anders Jirenhed performed laboratory studies as part of their teaching at the medical programme at Lund University, they discovered that the theory was incorrect in practice.
Rasmussen and Jirenhed tested 21 medical students at Lund University and could see that the students were able to control the exact timing of their blinking with unexpected accuracy. The researchers' results, now published in Scientific Reports, question whether previous studies on human eyeblink conditioning have, in fact, studied purely automated learning or if the test subjects also voluntarily controlled their their blinking.
"Our results are an important step in understanding how the human brain can control the timing of our movements - and to what extent we can influence them at will", says Anders Rasmussen.
"This type of study can help us understand how different parts of the brain work together to generate precisely timed movements. This, in turn, can lead to a better understanding of diagnoses which are believed to be related to the brain's timing mechanisms, such as ADHD. Studies like this can also lead to insights on how to train to become even better at timing our movements", says Dan-Anders Jirenhed.
Source: Eurekalert

More News For this Category

Beat cyber crime

We are stepping into a new era, an era of digitalization. But little do we know, in the disguise of this big revolution the basic values of humanity are

Exercise before pregnancy

Exercise before pregnancy

Life Desk :Expectant mothers who are more fit before pregnancy are at lower risk of developing gestational diabetes, a study suggests. Gestational diabetes is a condition in which women

 Dialysis facilities at Madaripur

Dialysis facilities at Madaripur

Life Desk :To spread treatment facility for the kidney patients to the different parts of the country the  Kidney Awareness Monitoring and Prevention Society (KAMPS) on Friday opened  a

Remembering Debabrata Biswas in Dhaka

Remembering Debabrata Biswas in Dhaka

Arun Kanti Chatterjee :We are the same souls and share the same artistic, literary and cultural legacies. This was again reinforced in a cultural meet when eminent persons and

Mothers from age 40 at risk of preterm birth

Life Desk :The researchers noted an association between preterm birth and mother's age and stated that the maternal age at pregnancy has been increasing worldwide and so has the

Magical space for children

Magical space for children

Life Desk :Transform your child's space into a delightfully dreamy abode replete with playful splashes of colour and chic furniture to inspire imaginative little minds.Some tips and tricks to

Cheaters perceived as less competent

Cheaters perceived as less competent

Life Desk  :People who commit moral transgression like cheating and shoplifting are viewed as less able to do their jobs or complete tasks effectively and low in social intelligence

Grapes to ward off depression

Grapes to ward off depression

Life Desk  :Including grapes in your diet may have a positive impact on your mental health as researchers have found that certain grape-derived compounds might be developed as therapeutic

Fashion trends to lookout for in 2018

Fashion trends to lookout for in 2018

Life Desk  :Stock your wardrobe with fringes, clothes in pastel shades and athleisure outfits to make a fashionable statement in 2018, say experts.Sanhita Dasgupta, Myntra Fashion Expert, and Neha

Breastfeeding secrets

Breastfeeding secrets

Life Desk  :Breastfeeding seems to be a most natural process, but to some, it may be a challenge. Be patient and feed often, say experts.Mimansa Malhotra (PT), Lactation Consultant