Navigation Links
Study indicates how we make proper movements

When you first notice a door handle, your brain has already been hard at work. Your visual system first sees the handle, then it sends information to various parts of the brain, which go on to decipher out the details, such as color and the direction the handle is pointing. As the information about an object is sent further along the various brain pathways, more and more details are noticedin that way, a simple door handle turns into a silver-plated-antique-style-door-handle-facing-right. Information about the handle also reaches the part of your brain responsible for planning movements (known as the pre-motor area), and it comes up with a set of motions, allowing you to turn the handle with your right hand and open the door.

However, this is not necessarily a simple process for the brain. For instance, how do we end up turning the door handle with our right hand, instead of just hitting it with our left? During this analysis, the brain is bombarded with a lot of irrelevant information, so it relies on a control system to filter out unnecessary information. In the visual system, this control mechanism is known as center surround inhibition and it works by activating only the neurons that are required for further action. In other words, if any extra neurons are turned on, this control mechanism will shut them off, so that the brain can focus on the relevant information. Although the center surround inhibition system has been well documented in the visual system, it was not known if this type of control mechanism exists in the motor regions of the brain. Psychologist Daniel Loach from Macquarie University in Sydney and his colleagues conducted a set of experiments to explore inhibitory mechanism in the areas of the brain involved in planning movements.

A group of participants were successively shown two door handles and had to press a left or right button which corresponded to the texture (either wood or metal) of the second handle. Some of the pairs had both of the handles in the same orientation, in other pairs the two handles would be rotated at varying angles. In addition, the researchers noted which hand was used to make the response if it was compatible or incompatible with the direction the handle was facing (e.g. the right hand was compatible for handles that were facing right).

The results, published in the December issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, show that the participants were faster to respond with the compatible than with the incompatible hand if both the handles shared an identical orientation; if the two handles were at slightly different angles, the response time with the compatible hand was much slower. When the two handles were angled 60 away from each other, response times were similar for both the compatible and incompatible hands. These results suggest that when we see an object, a number of motor programs in the brain are involuntarily activated (each with a different potential movement we can make), which all compete with one another. One program emerges as the winner of the competition and is ready to be implemented while the other programs (which would result in erroneous movements) are inhibited.

These results indicate that there is a common mechanism which acts in both perception and movement. These findings also tell us how information travels throughout the brain and how the motor system and visual system interact. The authors note that these results do not only give us information about normal brain functioning, but suggest that deficits with the center surround inhibition mechanism may contribute to poor motor planning and coordination which often accompany autism and schizophrenia.


Contact: Barbara Isanski
Association for Psychological Science

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. New study shows promise in reducing surgical risks associated with surgical bleeding
3. Study, meta-analysis examine factors associated with death from heatstroke
4. Study suggests loss of 2 types of neurons -- not just 1 -- triggers Parkinsons symptoms
5. Study says COPD testing is not measuring up
6. Preclinical study suggests organ-transplant drug may aid in lupus fight
7. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
8. High alcohol consumption increases stroke risk, Tulane study says
9. Mailman School of Public Health study examines link between racial discrimination and substance use
10. Pitt study finds inequality in tobacco advertising
11. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud ... Education Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is ... only one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the ... available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Jobs in hospital medical laboratories and in the imaging field lead the many ... Medical Group . These fields, as well as travel nursing, ranked at ... through the company’s website, , The leading healthcare staffing agency released ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk based contact center software Q-Suite, ... The new Q-Suite 6 platform is based on the latest Java Enterprise standards. By ... piece of software for many key components of the suite. Much of the suite ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of the nation’s top ... culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist among greater Cincinnati’s ... a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati Best Places to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 AAIPharma ... planned investment of at least $15.8  Million to ... Wilmington, NC . The expansion will ... to meet the growing demands of the pharmaceutical ... site expansion will provide up to 40,000 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Henry Schein, Inc., the world,s largest ... dental, medical and animal health practitioners, will unveil at ... Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , which brings together for ... solutions designed to help any practice or laboratory enter ... for a schedule of experts appearing at the Pavilion. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., ... 27 th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. ... the New York Palace Hotel in New ... 1:30 p.m. EST. Mr. Schuh will be available for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: