Friday, November 28, 2008

More about glia, and a Neurophilosophy post on Moseley

I saw a nice post by Mo, on Lorimer Moseley's work with pain research, called Distorting the body image affects perception of pain. Well-deserved recognition in my opinion - thumbs up to Mo. Lorimer Moseley's work has been discussed on this blog, HumanAntiGravitySuit, and Neurotopian several times, as has work done by others involving virtual bodies, body maps, alteration of pain experience, mirror therapy, etc.

A poster at Somasimple contributed this rather nice, very readable, up-to-date and open access article on glia, by Ben Barres, in Neuron, called The Mystery and Magic of Glia: A Perspective on Their Roles in Health and Disease. Enjoy!

Other posts mentioning Glia:
Microglia and Pain: A Manual Therapy Perspective (series)

Posts mentioning Moseley:
1. FABQ and physical therapy
2. The devil is in the details

Posts mentioning virtual bodies:
1. Something in Swiss water?
2. Just UN-do it
3. The user illusion
4. Haptic vest
5. Visual feedback
6. Virtual body experience

Posts mentioning mirror therapy:
Look in the menu to the right side of this blog. Or go to Neurotopian and use the search function, enter "Mirror Therapy" or just click on the menu item and get Matthias' blogpost series on the topic. (While you're at it, re-read his "Pain for Dummies" series.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Scott Mackler

The PT site Evidence in Motion posted about Scott Mackler, a neuroscientist with ALS. As it turns out, Scott Mackler is married to a PT researcher, Lynn Snyder-Mackler.

The CBS video, Brain Power, features brain-computer interface technology; Scott, unable to move anything but his mouth, eyes, and thoughts, can select letters from a screen by focusing on a particular letter that he wants: when a random flash highlights that particular letter, his thought, "That's the one I want," and whatever change in electrical potential that his selection creates, effectively communicates itself to the computer through an array of electrodes gelled to his scalp through a cap, and pegs the letter into a window. Then he can move on and peg the next letter. In this way, Scott can express himself and continue work as a neuroscientist.

(Thoughts move. Thoughts are verbs, not nouns. They move - they don't just sit there, being mere nouns. This is one good way that "feeling of certainty" discussed by Robert Burton in his book, On Being Certain, pays off! I am quite certain about that. Almost entirely certain, in fact.)

Also featured in the video we see monkey brain/robot arm interface technology, and an implant into the motor cortex of Cathy, a woman with locked-in syndrome, which gives her an opportunity to communicate with others, control a wheelchair, play music, and adjust the temperature and light level in her home, by moving a computer cursor across a screen, using only her thoughts about moving her hand.

Related blog posts:

1. Smart Prosthetics, Smart Nerves, Smart Brains
2. More Smartness
3. Monkey Robotics
4. Monkey intentions and control of a robotic arm
5. Ginger Campbell's podcast #43, interview with Robert Burton about his book, On Being Certain
6. Harriet Hall's review of the same book

November 4 Update:

7. Mo's Neurophilosophy post about this same topic - Brain Power