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Sensing Space or Moving Muscles?

  • Published13 Dec 2013
  • Reviewed13 Dec 2013
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

Palisade endings in a cat.

In order for you to carry out even simple tasks, your brain has to keep track of the position of your body relative to other objects in the area. This complex awareness is called proprioception.

Scientists once believed that palisade endings — the nerve terminals (pictured in red, green, and yellow) along the muscles of the eye (pictured in blue) — provide key sensory information about eye position to the brain. However, a recent study suggests these cells are instead involved in muscle movement. Scientists continue to search for new clues about the functional role of palisade endings.

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