Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Universal map of vision in the human brain

Date:
October 4, 2012
Source:
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Summary:
Nearly 100 years after a British neurologist first mapped the blind spots caused by missile wounds to the brains of soldiers, researchers have perfected his map using modern-day technology. Their results create a map of vision in the brain based upon an individual's brain structure, even for people who cannot see.

The modern map of the representation of vision in the brain is compared to the 1918 original.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Nearly 100 years after a British neurologist first mapped the blind spots caused by missile wounds to the brains of soldiers, Perelman School of Medicine researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have perfected his map using modern-day technology. Their results create a map of vision in the brain based upon an individual's brain structure, even for people who cannot see. Their result can, among other things, guide efforts to restore vision using a neural prosthesis that stimulates the surface of the brain.

Related Articles


The study appears in the latest issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press journal.

Scientists frequently use a brain imaging technique called functional MRI (fMRI) to measure the seemingly unique activation map of vision on an individual's brain. This fMRI test requires staring at a flashing screen for many minutes while brain activity is measured, which is an impossibility for people blinded by eye disease. The Penn team has solved this problem by finding a common mathematical description across people of the relationship between visual function and brain anatomy.

"By measuring brain anatomy and applying an algorithm, we can now accurately predict how the visual world for an individual should be arranged on the surface of the brain," said senior author Geoffrey Aguirre, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Neurology. "We are already using this advance to study how vision loss changes the organization of the brain."

The researchers combined traditional fMRI measures of brain activity from 25 people with normal vision. They then identified a precise statistical relationship between the structure of the folds of the brain and the representation of the visual world.

"At first, it seems like the visual area of the brain has a different shape and size in every person," said co-lead author Noah Benson, PhD, post-doctoral researcher in Psychology and Neurology. "Building upon prior studies of regularities in brain anatomy, we found that these individual differences go away when examined with our mathematical template."

A World War I neurologist, Gordon Holmes, is generally credited with creating the first schematic of this relationship. "He produced a remarkably accurate map in 1918 with only the crudest of techniques," said co-lead author Omar Butt, MD/PhD candidate in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn. "We have now locked down the details, but it's taken 100 years and a lot of technology to get it right."

The research was funded by grants from the Pennsylvania State CURE fund and the National Institutes of Health (P30 EY001583, P30 NS045839-08, R01 EY020516-01A1).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. NoahC. Benson, OmarH. Butt, Ritobrato Datta, PetyaD. Radoeva, DavidH. Brainard, GeoffreyK. Aguirre. The Retinotopic Organization of Striate Cortex Is Well Predicted by Surface Topology. Current Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.09.014

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Universal map of vision in the human brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121556.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. (2012, October 4). Universal map of vision in the human brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121556.htm
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Universal map of vision in the human brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121004121556.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins