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Latest Receptive field Stories

Neuroscience Method Of Optogenetics As Good As Electrical Stimulation
2013-12-12 17:27:06

Brown University Neuroscientists are eagerly, but not always successfully, looking for proof that optogenetics – a celebrated technique that uses pulses of visible light to genetically alter brain cells to be excited or silenced – can be as successful in complex and large brains as it has been in rodent models. A new study in the journal Current Biology may be the most definitive demonstration yet that the technique can work in nonhuman primates as well as, or even a little better...

Challenging The Brain's Visual System In New Environments
2013-04-12 05:12:08

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online When people escape from the grind of their day-to-day lives and travel to remote, tranquil places, they often claim to “turn off” their brains so that they can soak in the calm, relaxing environment. Despite how restful things might seem, however, new research from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California reveals that a person´s mind — and more specifically, their visual system — is working...

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2011-05-04 09:25:00

The human eye long ago solved a problem common to both digital and film cameras: how to get good contrast in an image while also capturing faint detail. Nearly 50 years ago, physiologists described the retina's tricks for improving contrast and sharpening edges, but new experiments by neurobiologists at University of California, Berkeley and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha show how the eye achieves this without sacrificing shadow detail. These details will be published next...

2011-03-09 18:19:05

Retinal ganglion cells can recognize directions thanks to amacrine cells The properties of optical stimuli need to be conveyed from the eye to the brain. To do this efficiently, the relevant information is extracted by pre-processing in the eye. For example, some of the so-called retinal ganglion cells, which transmit visual information to the brain via the optic nerve, only react to light stimuli moving in a particular direction. This direction selectivity is generated by inhibitory...

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2010-10-07 09:55:50

Salk researchers map functional connections between retinal neurons at single-cell resolution By comparing a clearly defined visual input with the electrical output of the retina, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies were able to trace for the first time the neuronal circuitry that connects individual photoreceptors with retinal ganglion cells, the neurons that carry visuals signals from the eye to the brain. Their measurements, published in the Oct. 7, 2010, issue of the...

2010-10-05 18:58:09

Physicists and neuroscientists from the University of Pennsylvania  have linked the cell structure of the retina to the light and dark contrasts of the natural world, demonstrating the likelihood that the neural pathways humans use for seeing are adapted to best capture the world around us. Researchers found that retinal ganglion cells that see darkness are more numerous and cluster closer together than those that see light, corresponding to the fact that the natural world contains more...

2009-04-08 13:37:10

U.S. scientists say their study of the human retina suggests the nervous system operates with higher precision than has been previously appreciated. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies say about 1.25 million neurons are in the retina -- each neuron viewing the world through a small jagged window called a receptive field. But those receptive fields fit seamlessly together to collectively form the eyesight picture we rely on to navigate our environment. The scientists said...

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2009-03-25 15:00:35

The visual system has limited capacity and cannot process everything that falls onto the retina. Instead, the brain relies on attention to bring salient details into focus and filter out background clutter. Two recent studies by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, one study employing computational modeling techniques and the other experimental techniques, have helped to unravel the mechanisms underlying attention. "In everyday viewing a visual detail that is the target...

2005-07-07 15:37:05

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 7, 2005 -- Researchers at Harvard University have found evidence that the retina actively seeks novel features in the visual environment, dynamically adjusting its processing in order to seek the unusual while ignoring the commonplace. The scientists report in this week's issue of the journal Nature on their finding that this principle of novelty-detection operates in many visual environments. "Apparently our thirst for novelty begins in the eye itself," says Markus...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'