MAY 28, 2018 8:23 AM PDT

The Eyes Have It in Brain Mapping


The "eyes" have it, at least in the latest brain mapping research. Scientists at the Korea Brain Research Institute have found a way to map the brain by following how many cells and pathways joined the brain to the eyes. It's no easy task since there are billions of neurons in the brain. Researchers there identified 47 visual channels that are involved in processing visual stimuli. Six of these were unknown before the research was done. Using a mouse model and an electron microscope the scientists were able to produce a 3D video of cells in the retinas of the mice. They were then able to classify 396 ganglion cells, and further sort them into 47 different structures.

While there are many research programs ongoing to look at the components of the brain at the molecular level, this one identified detail that was not seen before. The scientists in Korea hope to use the information to map the brain further, but starting with visual stimuli will give them a leg up on diseases like glaucoma. Knowing how the brain processes what the eyes can see is a significant part of understanding how the brain, as a whole, works.
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  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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