Florida Chiropractic Blog

Florida Spine & Injury Blog

Your One-stop Solution For Pain

Australian "Tree of Life" With An Uncanny Resemblance To An Often Injured Part Of The Human Brain

Posted by Florida Spine and Injury | Apr 1, 2024 3:45:01 PM

While humans are capable of creating amazing works of art, sometimes nature provides us with the most breathtaking designs of all! The image above is a drone photo from a lake in New South Wales, Australia that has been dubbed the "tree of life", and you can see from the image the moniker is accurate.

This unique appearance comes from tea tree oil leaching from trees along the riverbank into the drainage channels that have been carved into the lake over many years.

When I first saw this image I'm such a huge brain injury nerd that I immediately thought, "That doesn't look like a tree, it looks like a cross section of the cerebellum!" Take a look at the image below and you can decide for yourself if I'm crazy or not about the resemblance:


The cerebellum is the "brain within the brain" that sits at the base of the skull and is responsible for many basic functions related to balance, motor coordination, and ambulation. This is highly relevant to motor vehicle collision occupant injuries as there tends to be a large amount of force with whiplash injuries transmitted at the craniocervical junction (the area where the brain and spine come together).

This area has traditionally been overlooked by many attorneys in TBI cases as they were focusing more on the types of symptoms that a neuropsychologist would evaluate like memory, executive function, mood, impulse control, etc. However, there are a lot of patients suffering with TBI whose primary area of injury is the cerebellum and their symptom pattern is very different and is not evaluated by neuropsych testing.

Injury to the cerebellum will typically manifest on tests like videonystagmography (VNG), oculomotor tracking, computerized balance testing, and other assessments targetting this region. The image below from a normal vs. abnormal eye tracking study shows how dramatically eye movements can be impaired due to injury from this part of the brain.


Once we have identified the regions of the brain involved, a more specific and targeted treatment plan can be developed. For cerebellar injuries interventions like oculomotor rehab, balance therapy, and vestibular exercises are often employed to help achieve the best possible clinical results.

If you have a TBI client you feel would benefit from this testing, TBI rehab, or neurology eval, please reach out to me directly at 904-616-1284 or email drwalker@flspineandinjury.com. Our goal at Ethos is the raise the standard of care across the country for patients suffering with concussions and increase the treatment options made available to them.

Topics: TBI

Leave a Comment