Current Visual System News and Events

Current Visual System News and Events, Visual System News Articles.
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Research shows the intrinsically nonlinear nature of receptive fields in vision
According to a study led by Marcelo Bertalmío, a researcher at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, published in the journal of the group Nature, Scientific Reports, which proposes a paradigm shift for both vision science and for artificial intelligence. (2020-11-23)

Do neural networks dream visual illusions?
This is the question studied by researchers at the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, led by Marcelo Bertalmío together with Jesús Malo, a researcher at the University of Valencia. The results of their research are published in the advanced online edition Vision Research. (2020-11-20)

Researchers from CSIC identify the genetic program that allows us to see in 3D
A group of researchers from the Institute of Neurosciences UMH-CSIC, in Alicante, led by Dr. Eloísa Herrera, has discovered a genetic program essential for the formation of bilateral circuits, such as the one that makes possible 3D vision or the one enabling motor coordination. The finding, carried out in mice, is published today in Science Advances. (2020-11-13)

Novel population of neurons identified that control binocular eye movements in 3D space
Researchers have discovered a previously undescribed population of neurons called saccade-vergence burst neurons that help control our eyes as they view in three-dimensional space. Models had predicted the existence of such neurons. The neurons are in a region of the mid-brain called the central mesencephalic reticular formation. (2020-11-11)

The protein dress of a neuron
New method marks proteins and reveals the receptors in which neurons are dressed (2020-11-01)

Facing up to the reality of politicians' Instagram posts
A University of Georgia researcher used computer vision to analyze thousands of images from over 100 Instagram accounts of United States politicians and discovered posts that showed politicians' faces in nonpolitical settings increased audience engagement over traditional posts such as politicians in professional or political settings. (2020-10-29)

Researchers discover 'spooky' similarity in how brains and computers see
The brain detects 3D shape fragments (bumps, hollows, shafts, spheres) in the beginning stages of object vision - a newly discovered strategy of natural intelligence that Johns Hopkins University researchers also found in artificial intelligence networks trained to recognize visual objects. (2020-10-22)

Humans are born with brains 'prewired' to see words
Humans are born with a part of the brain that is prewired to be receptive to seeing words and letters, setting the stage at birth for people to learn how to read, a new study suggests. Analyzing brain scans of newborns, researchers found that this part of the brain - called the ''visual word form area'' (VWFA) - is connected to the language network of the brain. (2020-10-22)

Common treatment for diabetic macular edema not effective in Black individuals
A medication frequently used to treat diabetic macular edema, which is the most common cause of blindness in people with diabetes, is less effective when used to treat the condition in Black patients, new study results show. (2020-10-22)

Seeing no longer believing: the manipulation of online images
A peace sign from Martin Luther King, Jr, becomes a rude gesture; dolphins in Venice's Grand Canal - manipulated or mis-used images posted as truth. Australian researchers say image editing software is so common and easy to use, it has the power to re-imagine history. Even the White House is doing it and deadline-driven journalists lack the tools to tell the difference, especially when images come from social media. (2020-10-21)

Scientists use gene therapy and a novel light-sensing protein to restore vision in mice
A newly developed light-sensing protein called the MCO1 opsin restores vision in blind mice when attached to retina bipolar cells using gene therapy. The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, provided a Small Business Innovation Research grant to Nanoscope, LLC for development of MCO1. The company is planning a U.S. clinical trial for later this year. (2020-10-21)

Keeping weight off is up to your brain, not just willpower, Ben-Gurion U researchers discover
'To our surprise, we discovered that while higher executive functions, as measured behaviorally, were dominant factors in weight loss, this was not reflected in patterns of brain connectivity,' says Gidon Levakov, a graduate student, who led the study from the BGU Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. 'Consequently, we found that weight loss is not merely a matter of willpower, but is actually connected to much more basic visual and olfactory cues.' (2020-10-19)

The right cells in the right spot
Neurons in a visual brain area of zebrafish are arranged as a map for catching prey. (2020-10-19)

UCI-led study reveals restoration of retinal and visual function following gene therapy
A breakthrough study, led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, results in the restoration of retinal and visual functions of mice models suffering from inherited retinal disease. (2020-10-19)

Newborn brains lack maturity to process emotions as adults do
Humans aren't born with mature brain circuitry that attaches emotions to the things they see or hear in their environment, a new study shows. Researchers studying brain scans of newborns found that the part of the brain involved in experiencing emotions isn't functionally connected in a mature way with the regions that process visual or auditory stimuli. (2020-10-19)

Classic optical illusion leads to the discovery of critical neurons in zebrafish.
By exposing larval zebrafish to a well-known optical illusion, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and National Institute of Genetics have found a clever way to isolate key clusters of neurons critical to processing the direction of motion in the zebrafish's environment. The full results were published in the journal Neuron in September 2020. (2020-10-15)

Cameras that can learn
Intelligent cameras could be one step closer thanks to a research collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Manchester who have developed cameras that can learn and understand what they are seeing. (2020-10-13)

Musical training can improve attention and working memory in children - study
Musically trained children perform better at attention and memory recall and have greater activation in brain regions related to attention control and auditory encoding. (2020-10-08)

Traveling brain waves help detect hard-to-see objects
A team of Salk Institute scientists led by Professor John Reynolds has uncovered details of the neural mechanisms underlying the perception of objects. They found that patterns of neural signals, called traveling brain waves, exist in the visual system of the awake brain and are organized to allow the brain to perceive objects that are faint or otherwise difficult to see. The findings were published in Nature on October 7, 2020. (2020-10-07)

How mobile apps grab our attention
Aalto University researchers alongside international collaborators have done the first empirical study on how users pay visual attention to mobile app designs. (2020-10-06)

RUDN University linguist: learning foreign language is harder for visually impaired people
A scientist from RUDN University analysed the effect of visual impairment on a person's perception of unfamiliar sounds when learning a foreign language. The experiment showed that lack of access to visual cues makes learning difficult. (2020-10-06)

Evolution: Shifts in mating preference
In their efforts to identify the genetic basis for differences in mate choice that keep two co-existing species of butterfly separate, evolutionary biologists at Ludwig-Maximlians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have identified five candidate genes that are associated with divergence in visual mating preferences. (2020-10-06)

Dog brains do not prefer faces
Even though dogs gaze into man's eyes, dog brains may not process faces as human brains do. A new study from JNeurosci suggests that the canine visual system is organized differently: the face network found in primates may not extend to all mammals. (2020-10-05)

Dog and human brains process faces differently
Researchers discovered striking similarities and differences in how dog and human brains process visual information about others. Faces are central to visual communication in humans, who possess a dedicated neural network for face processing. Although dogs also pay attention to faces, excel at eye contact and at reading facial emotion, they also rely on additional bodily signals to communicate. Are dog brains specialized for face processing like human brains? (2020-10-05)

Tool helps clear biases from computer vision
Researchers at Princeton University have developed a tool that flags potential biases in sets of images used to train artificial intelligence (AI) systems. The work is part of a larger effort to remedy and prevent the biases that have crept into AI systems that influence everything from credit services to courtroom sentencing programs. (2020-10-01)

New study finds antidepressant drug effective in treating "lazy eye" in adults
In a new study, published in Current Biology, researchers from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine reveal how subanesthetic ketamine, which is used for pain management and as an antidepressant in humans, is effective in treating adult amblyopia, a brain disorder commonly known as ''lazy eye.'' (2020-09-30)

Screen time can change visual perception -- and that's not necessarily bad
The coronavirus pandemic has shifted many of our interactions online, with Zoom video calls replacing in-person classes, work meetings, conferences and other events. Will all that screen time damage our vision? Maybe not. It turns out that our visual perception is highly adaptable, according to research from Psychology Professor and Cognitive and Brain Sciences Coordinator Peter Gerhardstein's lab at Binghamton University. (2020-09-30)

New method developed to help scientists understand how the brain processes color
Through the development of new technology, University of Minnesota researchers have developed a method that allows scientists to understand how a fruit fly's brain responds to seeing color. (2020-09-29)

Similarities and dissimilarities between automatic learning in bees and humans
This study provides the first systematic comparison of automatic visual learning in humans and honeybees, showing that while both species extract statistical information about co-occurrence contingencies of visual scenes, in contrast to humans, bees do not automatically encode predictability information in those scenes. Since access to predictability has long been considered as key for acquiring complex knowledge effectively, this difference might provide hints about what leads to human's versatile learning and superior cognitive abilities. (2020-09-28)

Handheld device could provide fast method to diagnose concussions in youth athletes
Building upon years of research, a new study has demonstrated how a specific assessment of the eye could someday help properly diagnosis and monitor concussions. (2020-09-24)

Researchers explore how the human brain is so resilient
Future technology may be able to monitor and modify the brain to produce enhanced team performance, while increasing the efficiency and accuracy of decisions. The US Army may be able to use this information to enhance future operations. (2020-09-24)

How night vision is maintained during retinal degenerative disease
New insight on how people with retinal degenerative disease can maintain their night vision for a relatively long period of time has been published today in the open-access eLife journal. (2020-09-22)

After developing CRISPR test, UConn researchers validate clinical feasibility for COVID-19 testing
In March, researchers in the Department of Biomedical Engineering-- a shared department in the schools of Dental Medicine, Medicine, and Engineering--began to develop a new, low-cost, CRISPR-based diagnostic platform to detect infectious diseases, including HIV virus, the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Today, the method is one step closer to being a cutting-edge diagnostics technology for rapid detection of infectious diseases. (2020-09-18)

Live imaging method brings structural information to mapping of brain function
Neuroscientists distinguish brain regions based on what they do, but now have a new way to overlay information about how they are built, too. (2020-09-17)

Light processing improves robotic sensing, study finds
A team of Army researchers uncovered how the human brain processes bright and contrasting light, which they say is a key to improving robotic sensing and enabling autonomous agents to team with humans. (2020-09-14)

Immune cells sculpt circuits in the brain
Brain immune cells, called microglia, protect the brain from infection and inflammation. It turns out that they also sculpt circuits in the developing brain in response to sensory cues. (2020-09-14)

How the brain creates the experience of time
On some days, time flies by, while on others it seems to drag on. A new study from JNeurosci reveals why: time-sensitive neurons get worn out and skew our perceptions of time. (2020-09-14)

Levodopa may improve vision in patients with macular degeneration
Investigators have determined that treating patients with an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with levodopa, a safe and readily available drug commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease, stabilized and improved their vision. It reduced the number of treatments necessary to maintain vision, and as such, will potentially reduce the burden of treating the disease, financially and otherwise. Their findings appear in The American Journal of Medicine, published by Elsevier. (2020-09-10)

As information flows through brain's heirarchy, higher regions use higher frequency waves
New study by MIT neuroscientists also finds specific frequency bands associated with encoding, or inhibiting encoding, of sensory information across the cortex. (2020-09-08)

Unmanned aerial vehicles help wheat breeders
Usually, breeders pick the best wheat lines by hand, but unmanned aerial vehicles that record certain measures of plant health can help breeders select wheat lines more efficiently. (2020-09-03)

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