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Old 10-10-2008, 11:28 AM   #18
John Brockington
Dojo: Retsushinkan/Birmingham, AL
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 65
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Re: Mirror Neurons and Aikido Training

David-
You are very welcome! As an aside, the concept of neuroplasticity (meaning in this context regulation of gene expression in the brain) in adult animals has been around for a while, and really started to gain serious momentum in the late 90's when animal behavior researchers showed clear evidence of upregulation of genetic expression in songbirds during the mating season, contingent on the specific songs being sung. Basically, the birds' brains were shown change on a structural level depending on the song.
There is some work being done in humans in this area, but one of the principle issues is whether neural "plasticity" is a phenomenon of re-organization of neural networks, or if there is actual change in the cell populations, through gene expression and regulation. It is not a small distinction, and the implications for a host of diseases like stroke, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, MS, are huge.

John
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