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emily's picture

CPG...memory(again)...concussions...what is corollary discharge?

 CPGs make sense to me for motor function. Our actions are based on sensory input for direction/purpose; however, they cannot be purely based on sensory input, because certain actions can happen without "thinking", like we talked about in class and like what others have been mentioning on the blog thus far. Our actions must have some intuitive quality. While I think we have a pretty good understanding of motor functioning now,  I do not think CPGs fully explain interconnected neuronal circuits in general. Our actions are very fluid; we can most often move without thinking about it. But what about THINKING? Of course thoughts are influenced by other inputs, certainly sensory, but are there CPGs for thoughts as well? Are CPGs specific to motor functioning or can they be applied to different functions within the brain, even more "intangible" things? I was talking about memory in last week's post and the idea of learned CPGs causing memory make sense to me: a memory is just a learned pattern of activity, so when we are reminded of a certain thing, it is just that pattern being activated, so potentially a running CPG. 

On another note, I am not sure I completely understand the full definition of corollary discharge. Something to do with the "coordinated performance of independent players", a motor symphony without a conductor (sort of like Stomp?). What specifically does corollary discharge refer to?

Lastly, I just wanted to share my experience applying this class to daily life! This past Monday I got a concussion in lacrosse practice, and in the context of this class, I have been thinking about what is going on inside my head. My symptoms are very mild: "pressure" in the head, photosensitivity, and headaches from the photosensitivity. But what is going on in there??? "Pressure" in the head -- what is that, in terms of neurons? Why am I sensitive to sunlight, when I was hit in the front of my head and not the back of my head where info. from eyes are first processed? In more extreme cases of concussions: people lose memory, but are able to get that memory back...if memory is based on CPGs, or something of that sort, how could a pattern be "lost" and then returned? I think it may have been Jeanette who mentioned in her post that she used to play the piano and now she hardly remembers anything besides a few melodies...I am sure if she wanted to learn piano again it would be very easy for her to improve. How can something that was so ingrained and then lost come back to us? Does "practice" strengthen neuronal connections that were once strong and had been weakened/turn off inhibitors?

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