Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The power of context

“In an individual, the exact same movement can be represented by different networks of neurones and different synaptic activity”

How does the above statement resonate? For example, if you were to turn your neck with eyes closed or open, or in differing moods, there would be different populations of neurones engaged, yet the movement would look exactly the same.

The footballer about to kick an end of game penalty which could win the game has a motor programme ready to play. If that motor programme had been constructed and practiced in various contexts then it should be a richer and better programme and the outcome should be better. For example, if the penalty kick motor programme had been practiced in a stress state, therefore with lots of glutamate in the brain and areas such as the amygdala now linked into the motor programme, the motor programme should not be that disturbed when the kick is in a stressfull context.

Context of movement can altered in many ways –gravity, vision, various distractions, various emotions, altered threats, place, balance, meaning, even going back in time – perhaps the benefit from dance that many patient’s with Parkinson’s disease get, is that the dance and/or the music accesses old movement neurosignatures.

I don’t think the rehabilitation therapies are aware enough of the power of context.

Keep your comments coming in to