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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Latest Somatosensory system Stories

2009-12-07 19:53:05

Two new studies show that the thalamus--the small central brain structure often characterized as a mere pit-stop for sensory information on its way to the cortex--is heavily involved in sensory processing, and is an important conductor of the brain's complex orchestra. Published in Nature Neuroscience and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the two studies from the laboratory of Murray Sherman both demonstrate the important role of the thalamus in shaping what humans see,...

2009-11-03 08:47:24

A new study suggests that the inner sense of our cardiovascular state, our "interoceptive awareness" of the heart pounding, relies on two independent pathways, contrary to what had been asserted by prominent researchers. The University of Iowa study was published online this week in the journal Nature Neuroscience by researchers in the department of neurology in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the graduate programs in neuroscience and psychology. The researchers found...

2009-10-14 14:13:38

While gripping, lifting or manipulating an object such as drinking from a cup or placing a book on a shelf is usually easy for most, it can be challenging for those with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's, or for people who had a stroke. For them, the tight gripping can cause fatigue, making everyday tasks difficult. A team of University of Illinois at Chicago physical therapists report this month in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair that persons...

2009-08-05 09:06:46

When you feel you are being touched, usually someone or something is physically touching you and you perceive that your "self" is located in the same place as your body. In new research published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, neuroscientists at the Ecole Polytechnique F©d©rale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, investigated the relationship between bodily self-consciousness and the way touch stimuli are spatially represented in humans. They found that sensations...

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2009-08-02 12:46:32

In a major step in spinal cord injury research, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have demonstrated that regenerating axons can be guided to their correct targets and re-form connections after spinal cord injury. Their findings will be published in the advance online edition of the journal Nature Neuroscience on August 2. In the last few years, researchers have shown that the severed wires of the spinal cord, called axons, can be induced to regenerate...

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2009-04-13 06:50:00

In a new study published recently in Nature Neuroscience, a group of researchers say they have discovered a new class of nerve fibers responsible for sending pleasure signals to the brain.  They believe that the study could shed light on the role that physical contact plays in sustaining long-term emotional bonds between humans. Researchers say that the patients' skin had to be stimulated at a certain speed and in certain locations in order for these nerves to discharge their...

2008-12-23 23:07:47

Painful medical interventions early in life may alter sensitivity to pain later in life, British researchers suggest Researchers at University College of London linked being born prematurely to altered responses to hot and cold. In the study, 43 11-year-old children born at less than 26 weeks of gestation were tested for their responses to different sensations -- temperature and light touch -- using quantitative sensory testing. Compared to a group of children who had been born at full term,...

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2008-12-22 11:10:33

Premature infants who need intensive care or surgery are less sensitive to thermal (hot and cold) sensations later in life, according to research conducted at UCL (University College London). The study, published in the journal Pain, suggests that pain and injury related to major medical interventions in early development may alter how children respond to painful stimuli much later in life. In the study, 43 eleven-year-old children born at less than 26 weeks of gestation (14 weeks premature)...

2008-09-12 12:00:09

Scientists have discovered a distinct set of 'pleasure nerves' in the skin that can alleviate pain when they are gently stroked. They believe that the discovery could lead to new treatments for conditions ranging from chronic itching to depression. The nerves respond to being brushed slowly and they appear to be sensitive to the type of stroking and cuddling provided by a mother to an upset child, scientists said. Tests on human volunteers have found that a painful stimulus applied to...

2008-09-11 00:00:08

By Steve Connor Scientists have discovered a distinct set of "pleasure nerves" in the skin that can alleviate pain when gently stroked. They believe the discovery could lead to new treatments for conditions ranging from chronicitching to depression. The nerves respond to being brushed slowly and they appear to be sensitive to the type of stroking and cuddling provided by a mother to an upset child, scientists said yesterday. Tests on human volunteers have found that a painful stimulus...