[Neuroscience] Re: motor programs in the brain

Wolf via neur-sci%40net.bio.net (by ElLoboViejo from ruddy.moss)
Tue Aug 7 08:37:21 EST 2007

rscan from nycap.rr.com wrote:
> Motor programs in the brain
[snip summary]
> Some list! Since none seem to question that invertebrate motor pattern
> generators are constructed by the genome, why should we question
> similar construction by the genome in vertebrates (including man, of
> course). The shift from individual neurons to populations of neurons
> is fundamentally trivial. Also trivial (except to anatomists) is to
> extend the "brain" to include the spinal cord. I so do.

The shift to neural groups or clusters (a term I prefer to 
'populations') is not at all trivial, especially since it's quite clear 
that that in vertebrates environmental factors are essential to the 
proper development of the brain, including of course those motor 
programs. IOW, the structure of those clusters de[ends on environmental 
inputs. The vertebrate learns how to move. This does not abrogate the 
function of the genome, but does change it. As a matter of fact, there 
is evidence that the genome's function depends crucially on external 
inputs, even in invertebrates.

> I like to think that a human lifetime can be seen as the genome
> interacting with the environment.

Well, of course. What else?


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