The concept of neural tagging

The very first computer I owned was one of the original MAC's, you know, the little boxy thing with a tiny screen?

It cost me a fortune, almost AUD10,000 at the time, and I wish I had kept it, because it is probably worth a lot more than that right now. This little computer used to have a feature that would put the fear of God into me.. a little icon like a face about to explode, that told me my MAC was about to sh*t itself!

macintosh hurt screen.jpg

This little icon told me something had gone badly wrong, the computer was hurt, and it needed to reset so it could mend the hurt and carry on. And, in many remarkably similar ways, this is exactly what happens when athletes get injured. In this case, the MAC is our human brain, but the same rules apply.

The computer (brain), needs to analyse the damage, figure out the response, and then reset.

And, this is especailly important in relation to pain.

Movement and motor performance involve highly complex interactions between the neural networks in the brain that represent our body and the space around us.

For example, skilled motor performance utilises neural representations from the visual, proprioceptive, spatial and tactile domains, enabling us to establish body position and alignment in relation to the external environment. Such information gets continually fed into sensory-motor loops that constantly update internal predictions about the outcome of a motor command.

Just like a computer updating a data feed.

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical