i’m following an idea i had a while back about the motor system rehearsal and memory and linking to basal ganglia in helping regular an amygdala that’s out of whack. Here’s where it’s at so far after a few iterations:
The “Neural Motor System Regulation Cycle” is a representation of the complex interactions between brain structures, physical activity, and mental well-being. In order to provide a more comprehensive overview, I have expanded on the original cycle:
1. Engaging in physical activity or motor movements: Participating in activities that involve motor skills, such as exercise, dance, or playing a musical instrument, stimulates various brain regions, including the motor cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. These regions are responsible for planning, executing, and refining motor movements.
2. Activation of the basal ganglia: The basal ganglia play a crucial role in motor control, learning, and reward. Engaging in motor activities activates these structures and contributes to the development of motor skills, habit formation, and a sense of accomplishment. The basal ganglia also interact with the prefrontal cortex, affecting decision-making, motivation, and goal-directed behavior.
3. Involvement of the hippocampus and other memory-related structures: The hippocampus, along with other brain regions such as the entorhinal cortex and amygdala, is essential for memory formation and consolidation. As you learn and practice new motor skills, these structures help store and integrate these memories for future use.
4. Activation of the reward system: The brain’s reward system, which includes structures like the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens, and the mesolimbic dopamine pathway, is activated during rewarding activities. This system plays a crucial role in motivation, reinforcement, and the experience of pleasure.
5. Release of neurotransmitters: Physical activity and engaging in rewarding activities can lead to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine (associated with reward and motivation), serotonin (linked to mood regulation and well-being), endorphins (natural pain relievers and mood elevators), and norepinephrine (involved in alertness and energy).
6. Modulation of neuroplasticity and brain health: Engaging in physical activity and learning new motor skills can enhance neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and change. This increased plasticity can lead to improvements in cognitive function, learning, and overall brain health.
7. Improved mood and emotional regulation: The release of neurotransmitters, the activation of the reward system, and the enhancement of neuroplasticity can contribute to an improved mood, increased motivation, better emotional regulation, and resilience to stress.
8. Cycle repeats: As you continue to engage in physical activities and motor movements, the cycle of activation, learning, neurotransmitter release, and neuroplasticity can repeat, potentially leading to ongoing improvements in mood, emotional regulation, and overall mental well-being.
This expanded cycle provides a more comprehensive representation of the processes involved in the “Neural Motor System Regulation Cycle” and its potential impact on mental health. It is important to note that individual experiences can vary, and the cycle is not an exhaustive explanation of the relationship between physical activity, brain function, and emotional well-being.