Professor George Paxinos is an Australian neuroscientist from Ithaca, Greece. He works for Neuroscience Research Australia, also known as NeuRA.
One of the things he is most known for are his brain atlases. These are maps of the brain used regularly by neurologists. He is also responsible for discovering a new part of the brain.
This part of the brain was suspected to exist for the past 30 years, but it was only able to be confirmed now because of today’s technology and research techniques. Now this region is being called the Endorestiform Nucleus because it is found inside of the area that connects the brain to the spinal cord.
The new region is located near the junction of the brain and spinal cord within the inferior cerebellar peduncle. This area is responsible for balance, posture, fine motor control, and sensory and motor information. Because of this, Professor Paxinos theorizes this new area has a similar function through the fine motor control. Fine motor control deals with precise movements in the muscles such as tying shoe laces, buttoning buttons, and being able to use pens, pencils, and crayons.
This also means it could aid in figuring out treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and ALS, in which muscle movements become harder.
“I didn’t think there were more places in the brain for us to discover,” said Hana Johnson, “I thought we found everything.”
As far as we know, this region is only found in humans, making us unique from other animals. “This region could be what makes humans unique besides our larger brain size,” said Professor Paxinos. More experiments are soon to be held to see if it’s found in other primates such as chimpanzees, or if it really makes humans unique from any other animal.