Scientists discover more about human vision

JANUARY 8, 2009--Scientists now have a better understanding of how the mammalian brain transfers, processes, and stores visual information.

JANUARY 8, 2009--Scientists now have a better understanding of how the mammalian brain transfers, processes, and stores visual information. New research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience details the findings of an international team of researchers led by Australian scientist and Macquarie University senior lecturer, Dr Mark Williams.

Previously, scientists believed information detected by the eye was transferred to the rear of the brain (occipital cortex) and then transferred on to higher areas for further processing and conscious perception. The occipital cortex was seen as a relay station through which information flowed and was refined, but the real work of consciously seeing involved the higher areas.

Now, the study led by Williams has shown that, contrary to popular belief, the information is passed back to the occipital cortex to a particular region (the foveal retinotopic cortex), which is then involved in our ability to see things in our environment. For more information, go to: www.pr.mq.edu.au/events/index.asp?ItemID=3557.

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