The Platform: Mindshare.la
The Tweeter: EVO DEVO
The Application: Spinal Cord Mapping
BIG IDEA 1: Innovation and Sustainability are necessary competing and collaborative values of evolutionary anatomy.
Big IDEA 2: The spine supports our bipedal transit through space and houses our peripheral nervous system, enabling or deterring the liveliness of vital organs and the systems that regulate them.
Big Somanautic IDEA: The spine is interdependent and intimately networked with the brain/mind/body.
In the year of the brain, social networking brings neuro to the fore of tweeters, blogs and raves! A case in point. Mindshare.la organized by visionary entrepreneurs Doug Campbell, Justin Pichetrungsi and Adam Mefford, is a 21st century forum of “enlightened debauchery” taking place monthly at the L. A.’s Brewery complex. The event staged on the 4th floor loft of an old brewery building, draws to it a cadre of cutting edge designers, techies and scientists from the networked brain trust of So. Cal. universities and art schools.
On Thursday, July 17, the Brewery loft was buzzing with futurist ideas and stunning design moments in self expression: Seamstress Erin wafting through room in her orange parachute evening dress, Sarah Dunbar Rhodes Design’s new line of gold and Swarovski crystal jewelry as multi-faceted and sparkling as the conversations in the room. As for inspired tech-logic, last night’s presentation included a rapid-fire talk on Evo-Devo by futurist John Smart. While the changing morphology of the spine was not the point of Smart’s rhetorical pitch on cultural acceleration, his comments on Evo-Devo gave me pause as to the effects of evolution and development on the peripheral nervous system.
To this point: A recent posting from the Seattle Times announced a new spinal cord atlas is in the works. The Allen Institute for Brain Science at the University of British Columbia is releasing the first of its data on spinal cord mapping. Spinal cartography enables neuro-biologists to study in greater depth, the cellular territory of neural tissue in the peripheral nervous system.
Spinal Cord at the level of the lumbarsacral enlargement
“It will enable us to look inside each group of cells in the spinal cord and know what it is that makes them special and different from the cells around them,” said [Jane] Roskams, of UBC’s Brain Research Centre. “I don’t think there will be a lab in the world working on spinal-cord injuries that does not access this as soon as it goes online.”
Pushed front and center into neuro-celebrity, the spinal cord deserves the GGI and SpaceSuit Yoga’s attention given its place in the unfolding Evo-Devo story of brain science. From the standpoint of evolution, the spine carries the morphological coding of its unique genetic, neurological and anatomical history. From the standpoint of actual development in one lifetime, the spine grows and must be maintained in order to fortify bipedalism and safely house the peripheral nervous system – the system of signals and reflexes codes that turn on and off the vitality of our VITAL ORGANS. . Think of spinal Evo-Devo in terms of orthopedic and kinesthetic effects: the ergonomic adjustments that had to come from moving on all fours to walking upright!
For you somanauts out there, mapping the spinal cord holds tremendous promise in the fields of regenerative and restorative medicine and the broad spectrum of healing arts. Imagine what the spinal map will do the treatment of spinal cord injury, as well as for the fields that work hands on with spinal liberation and adjustment, e.g. Chiropractic, Cranial Sacral, Feldenkris, and the many Yogas and Martial Arts. A somatically enlightened Evo-Devo lab on spinal anatomy would, in other words, urge us to reckon with both evolutionary innovation of human anatomy and sustainable maintenance of normative spinal development throughout a lifetime. SpaceSuit Yoga Suggestions: Spinal breathing, Spinal rolls, gentle back bends – any and all juicy wave like, undulating movement that lubricates the spinal and related joints with cerebral-spinal and synovial fluid!
Rock and Roll,