Am I really ready?

I’m finding it hard to believe, but I think I’m finally ready. I have re-done the fine details of this over and over to make sure that it all makes sense and there is not a better way. I have been disappointed in how long it took me to get here because I have been unhappy with how the information was synthesized together and how I would have to describe it on the legend page. So I have been combining and simplifying over and over to make it as generalized and accurate as possible. I think it’s finally done. The process anyway (at least until I have to consider cortex and epigenetics more carefully).

Here is a shot of the spreadsheet for now. I try to upload a copy of it tonight after putting in the rest of the relevant links in. I like the idea of having a file handy for critics.

On the Left side is some general information on the details that I am representing. On the Right side is a box arrangement with some creative cell filling to indicate wires and processing centers. The positioning is relative to how it will be in the model. The pink regions are to indicate different anatomical directions. The blue bar is showing the most general structure. The Yellow boxes are either somatosensory ganglia or neurons. The Orange box represents the receptive field (where the sensation comes from and what it is) for the temperature and pain sense, and the blue boxes represents the touch sense (which is spread between the Vo and Vi sub-ganglia that they call “Pars Interpolaris” and “Pars Caudalis”). The yellow boxes on the right are the destinations of the secondary neurons that reside in the ganglia. The grey box represents the Ganglial Contact Zone (they just call it the Vi/Vo transition zone) that I needed to add as an element. I do not know if there is a GCZ between the Vo and Vi portions of the STN but I will be leaving place holders in the spreadsheet until farther notice.

On the left side of a ganglia/GCZ box I put any inputs to that body and in nearby cells I have receptor/cell type information that I will choose a bead for if necessary (cell type for sure due to message speed being an important factor).

I am also changing the box border colors when appropriate (inhibitory/excitatory signals, etc…). It’s going to get some tweaks because I think I can represent some of that better but at least I have a final piece spreadsheet!


The system that the Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus functions within is the somatosensory system (above). I chose to make somatosensory structures (pipe cleaner and plastic) yellow because that is an indicator of an “alert” color that might not be bad choice.

I chose to make pain sense a red bead (wire) or red glitter (processing center). I chose to make Temperature sense an orange bead or orange glitter. I chose to make touch a blue bead or blue glitter.

I want to get the legend up so I will put this in , finish the legend, and then add pictures of the finished STN (2/3 of it anyway, I’m doing Vo next). I just hope that I don’t get really picky about how it looks. I’m going to try to do a good job of course, but the last three weeks have been a bit ridiculous. There are few things that I have been as picky about…

It’s weird. I don’t know if I am doing anything unusual here but I have definitely seen some interesting things happen as I have worked on this. It feels like I’m doing something I could call “analogical thinking” where I’m just blurring things a bit in my head and looking for shared elements when I think about all of this, and how to convey the information. This also happens when I am researching and reading the material. Or maybe prying open an “analogical aperture” might be the right word? I’m still trying to figure this out and a lot of the impressions that I get about what is being written about my head are not things that I can really talk about with enough authority yet. I don’t like to carelessly discuss science.

I have seen my physical tics undergo some changes that have actually forced me to slow down as well. Since I started all this typing I have developed hand and knuckle related tics. Also when I am particularly engrossed in what I am doing sometimes I catch myself doing a particularly elaborate thing that goes from my neck all the way down to one arm. The finger ones are concerning me because I am getting sore knuckles. I am investigating Tai-Chi as a means to gain some more physical awareness so that I can perhaps get better at moving these tics around to less sensitive areas.

At least I hope that is possible. The literature I have read about Tourette syndrome suggests that the tics might be the result of emotional signatures in the cerebral cortex that were left unerased from some sort of generalized rule-making procedure. Coincidental encounters between current cortex activity and the old stuff may result in tics that are essentially partial memories of previous actions, or inappropriately placed memory signatures. The rule based aspects of our language system are historically based off of an evolutionary “copying” of the rule-based parts of the motor system. It’s looking to me like there is a point where the person with Tourettes chooses how to focus the “TO DO” urge. Some choose sports and music with their respective rules to throw the urge at. Maybe others can access a different system that has to do with the rules that determine our symbolic thought processes. Hopefully one of the professionals that I am emailing will be willing to take a look at all this at some point.

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