Sensory and Motor Cortex

Imaging Locomotor Network Activity – Toward a Wiring Diagram of the Locomotor
2008 Seed Grant
Jason MacLean, Ph.D.
University of Chicago

Spinal cord injuries sever the connections between the brain and the spinal cord resulting in
paralysis. There are networks of neurons contained within the spinal cord termed central
pattern generators, which generate the muscle commands necessary for walking, without
requiring coordinating input from the brain. Understanding the neuronal circuits underlying
locomotion will be critical for the design and development of better therapies to help paralyzed
individuals regain muscle control. Such insights will allow classes of neurons to be targeted
either for activation or regeneration in order to help paralyzed individuals regain muscle control,
potentially allowing us to ‘bypass’ the initiation signal from the brain altogether, which in these
individuals has been severed.

Other Grants

Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…