Friday, May 7, 2010

Mirror Movements

I remember when I was young, I used to play "mirror movements" with my sister. In this game, my sister and I would stand in front of each other and pretend that we are the mirror images of the other person. Therefore, after deciding who gets to go first, one person would make ridiculous poses and funny dance movements just to watch the other person follow you with laughter. Recently, Ed Yong and Neurophilosophy both posted a review about a recent scientific article that caused congenital mirror movements. It was surprising to find out there was a disease actually related to mirror movement within an individual's body. In 2002, a Chinese man who is suffering from mirror movement disorder could not enter the military. A gene called DCC was found to be the culprit for this disease. The basic background of this disease is that, a person cannot effectively transfer messages between the left and the right hemispheres due to a defect in the corpus callosum, a white matter connecting the two hemispheres. It is amazing and tragic at the same that that a single letter substitution in a gene sequence can cause such a huge change within a human body.

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