DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICAL AND STATISTICAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA

PIMS-MITACS MATHEMATICAL BIOLOGY SEMINAR


MONDAY, January 23, 2006
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
CAB 657

Kelvin Jones
Biomedical Engineering
Faculty of Medicine

Eavesdropping on biological sensors to reveal the secret code of proprioception.

Every movement we make is accompanied by sensation. Some biological sensors, like the eyes, are actively moved to detect the salient features of the environment outside the body. There are other sensors that detect the salient features of the environment inside the body. The biological sensors that detect the internal environment and are activated by our movements, send signals to the brain that somehow give rise to a perception of the position and movement of our body. This sense of position and movement is called proprioception and one of the sensors that contribute to this sense is imbedded in muscles: the muscle spindle. In the lab we "listen" to the neural activity of these sensors during movement as they send their secret message to the brain in the hopes of trying to figure out what information is imbedded in the sequences of electrical pulses. I'll share some of our recent work using a set of models in our attempt to break the proprioception code.

Refreshments will be served following the seminar from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. in CAB 549