Brain and movement

Prof. Carlo Ventura, full professor at the Department of Specialist, Diagnostic and Experimental Medicine — DIMES, says: “There is no important biological phenomenon that is not caused by movement. … It emerged that there is no change in gene activity that does not occur without DNA movements, deformations and vibrations of the nucleus and of that complex of microfilaments and microtubules that we call cytoskeleton.

The movements precede the same changes in function at the various cellular levels… Applying a sound vibration to a cell or signal molecules within a cell can vibrate these structures, generating changes in morphology and function. Sounds and movements can therefore be seen as a ‘molecular dialogue’ within cells and tissues.”

“It is increasingly clear – says Prof. Ventura – that the development of the nervous and cardiovascular systems occurs through a coordinated action of common factors that guide the differentiation and migration of future neuronal and cardiovascular cells. Very recent research shows a strong parallelism in the development of both systems …..”

Movement catalyst of emotions, which stimulate a different interaction of the three brains.

And here the power of the Tai Chi Chi Kung movement comes into play, as a balanced body is only the logical consequence of a harmonious energetic circulation.

Just today, an article of the study of the Interdepartmental Center for Mind / Brain of the University of Trento, of which we report an extract, has managed to highlight the analogy between physical and abstract movement.

A discovery that also explains the effectiveness of mnemonic techniques, such as loci and concept maps, used to learn and consolidate names, dates, events in memory.

The parallelism between what happens in the physical world and in that of ideas, opens, among other things, a further key to interpret the physical decay (with the difficulty in orienting oneself even at home) and cognitive (with memory problems) that characterize people with Alzheimer’s, who present an atrophy of the neuronal areas responsible for both functions.

“For the first time we have empirically verified this hypothesis,” underline Manuela Piazza and Simone Viganò, respectively professor and post-Doc researcher at the Interdepartmental Center for Mind/Brain of the University of Trento, who wrote the article published in recent days in the journal “Journal of Neuroscience”.

The experiment was carried out in the functional neuroimaging laboratories of the Interdepartmental Mind/Brain Center of the University of Trento. The research team asked a group of participants to learn to recognize and name categories of new objects, never seen before, different from each other for the combination of two characteristics, size and frequency of sound produced, thus building a new conceptual space in two dimensions.

By presenting in sequence the different words and different objects learned and measuring neural activity through functional magnetic resonance imaging, it was discovered that the same brain areas involved in space navigation are also activated during the elaboration of new concepts. In particular, these areas identify the necessary characteristics (direction and distance) to faithfully reconstruct the “path” taken by thought in passing from one concept to another.

“These results demonstrate that the human brain recycles the same neural codes optimized during its long evolutionary history to navigate physical space, to organize, in the form of spatial concept maps, its memories, and to navigate, literally, in the space of ideas.

They can also explain the effectiveness, known since ancient times, of using spatial supports (such as the loci technique or modern concept maps) to learn and remember with ease.

“To orient ourselves effectively in space – they clarify – we must remember where objects and landmarks are, how far they are from each other, and in which direction we must move to reach them.

This ability is based on the functioning of certain brain cells (neurons, located in the hippocampal region and in the medial prefrontal cortex), which are activated when we are in specific positions or we move in certain directions as a sort of “GPS of the brain”. This same GPS also helps us organize complex memories and concepts.”

Source: L’Adige of 27.2.2020

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