basal ganglia: When first identified,
by Thomas Willis, in 1664, the basal ganglia, then referred to as
the corpus striatum, held a central position in neuroanatomy, and was
believed to be Aristotle's sensorium commune. But by the
18th Century, the corpus striatum was relegated to an obscure position,
as so-called "higher mental functions" gained in popularity.
It was not until the beginning of the 20th Century, when it was discovered
that lesions of this area could result in motor dysfunction, that
serious attempts were made to provide a detailed description .
along with: The
of the basal ganglia is inhibitory, often defined as the "brake hypothesis," while
the cerebellum is excitatory. The two systems balance each other, to make for
smooth, coordinated movements.
a dancer: "So
(Jesus) told us to form a circle, holding one another's hands, and
himself stood in the
middle and said, 'Answer Amen to me." So he began to sing and to say...
all of you...
To the universe belongs the dancer.
He who does not dance does not know
if you follow
my dance, see yourself in me who am speaking,
And when you have seen what I do, keep
about my mysteries.
leaped: but do
you understand the whole?'"
John," New Testament Apocrypha.
Huntington's chorea: "Huntington's
chorea and Parkinson's disease affect two different parts of the basal
ganglia (the striatum and substantia nigra respectively) that seem
to normally work in a
kind of power-balancing act..." S.A. Greenfield, The Human Brain.
1997. p.40. "Huntington's Disease is the result of degeneration of the caudate
putaman, producing continuous dance-like movements of the face and limbs.
From: John Priestley firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: sightless city
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2000 7:35 PM
I found the reference I mentioned last week to khoros as "dancing ground." It's
in the American Heritage College Dictionary in the Appendix on Indo-European
roots, under the stem "gher-1": 4. Perhaps suffixed o-grade
form *ghor-o-. (choir, choral, chorale, choric, chorister, chorus, hora;
choragus, terpsichore, from Greek khoros, dancing ground? (perhaps originally
a special enclosure for dancing), dance, dramatic chorus. [Pokorny 4. gher-
442, gherdh- 444.]
The stem is said to mean "to grasp, enclose; with derivatives meaning "enclosure."
Notable derivatives include girdle, yard, garden, court, cohort. So the "dance" aspect
of choros is likely metonymically derived from the area in which the chorus
The idea of dancing ground links nicely into (Jacques) Derrida's observation
about chora as being invested or occupied space -- the dancing space is,
at any given moment, defined by the dance. ". . . the polysemy of the
word always includes the sense of political place or, more generally, of
invested place, by opposition to abstract space. Khora "means":
place occupied by someone, country, inhabited place, rank, post, assigned
position, territory, or region. . . . Whence the difficulty . . . of treating
it as an empty or geometric space. . . ." (Derrida, Khora 109)
Parkinson's Disease: "Related
to a reduction of dopamine in the brain and damage to the dopaminergic
pathway from the substantia nigra to the striatum. The result is an
increased output of the basal ganglia to the thalamus. The major systems
are tremor, rigidity, and
akinesia." -C.Smith, Jr.
Trois-Frères: "The Three Brothers" was
named after the three sons of Count Begouen, who discovered the cave
system in the Pyrenees eight days before the outbreak of World War
I. Herbert Kuhn and the Abbot Breuil were among the early visitors
whom the count escorted to the site. One cave they christened The Sanctuary.
On just one of its walls, the abbot noted, were painted more than 30
bison, 10 horses, 4 ibexes, and one reindeer. This cave became famous
for an image that the Abbot
Breuil called Le Sorcier, "The Sorcerer".
candate: "Tail-like." Instincts,
which are genetically encoded memories, stem from here, along with
deep and ingrained habits.
putamen: "Shell-like." Procedural
memories, such as riding a bike, are stored here, and
in the cerebellum.
globus pallidus: "Pale
globe." The principle output nuclei of the basal ganglia. All
output neurons are inhibitory.
in the diencephalon, this structure receives input from the external
segment of the globus pallidus, and sends excitatory signals to the
internal segment of the golbus pallidus.
substantia nigra: Located
in the midbrain, it is called the substantia nigra because its cells
are a "black mass". One aspect of Parkinson's disease is
the loss of these cells.
Shatterer of Worlds: When
the first nuclear device as exploded at Alamogordo, New Mexico, J.
Robert Oppenheimer, its guiding scientist, quoted the Hindu scripture,
the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become Death, Shatterer of Worlds."
is the personification of the Absolute, particularly in its dissolution
of the universe. He is the embodiment of Super-Death. He is called
Yamntaka, 'The Ender of the Tamer, He who conquers and exterminates
Yama the God of Death, the Tamer.' Shiva is Mah-K-la, Great Time, Eternity,
the swallower of time, swallower of all the ages and cycles of ages.
He reduces the phenomenal rhythm and whirlpool to naught, dissolving
all things, all beings, all divinities, in the crystal pure, motionless
Eternity." H. Zimmer, H. Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization.
Princeton, NJ., 1974.
gesture or position, usually of the hands, that locks and guides energy
flow and reflexes to the brain. By curling, crossing, stretching and
touching the fingers and hands, we can talk to the body and mind, as
each area of the hand reflexes to a certain part of the mind or
frontal cortex: The
striatum receives an input from the frontal cortex and limbic areas.
there was dancing, the rhythmic, violent Dionysian upsurge of the vital
energies; while he could dance regularly, every day, and restore contact
with the vital, instinctive parts of his own being, Nijinsky could
not go insane. Sanity lay in creation." C. Wilson, The
Outsider. New York, 1956. p.100.
dance is a performing art that originated in Post World War II Japan
and was first performed in 1959. It is a contemporary form of dance
that...derives its power from what the individual who dances it brings
to it in a very mental as well as physical
sense." -D. Harmon.
"BU= Space. The Japanese equivalent
is Ma: Smooth, round space, embracing; just space, no distance.
TOH= 'Draining power from the earth.' Percussion. Gaining strength
by stamping. When we consider Butoh in the world context I think it
focuses primarily on balance. That is, in more rigid terms, on the
gravity of the earth. The problem of how life stands in relation to
gravity has been
examined deeply by Butoh." -F. Nakamura
Natsu Nakajima, "Stone Ray." From, Empty
Performed in New York, 1989. Photo: N. Masson-Sekine.