Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shape encoding may start in the retina: Visual system needs information at ultra-high speeds to recognize shapes

12.09.2007
New evidence from the University of Southern California suggests that there may be dedicated cells in the retina that help compile small bits of information in order to recognize objects. The research was conducted by Ernest Greene, professor of psychology in the area of brain and cognitive sciences at USC. The study is published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS ONE.

It is well established that the images the observer sees are divided in half as they are sent to the two hemispheres of the brain. When a person looks at the center of an object, the image from the right half of the object will be sent to one hemisphere of the brain and the image of the left half is sent to the other. This is true whether a person uses one eye or two to look at the object. “Given that the primary visual areas in each hemisphere are seeing only half of the object, it has been assumed that communication between the hemispheres was needed to combine the information,” said Greene.

By using a high-speed LED array to display the images, Greene found evidence that the two sides of the retina interact to enhance the effectiveness of shape cues, which he describes as “linkage.” The cells in the retina appear to be coordinating their responses in a way that benefits shape recognition. Further, they do so with unexpected temporal precision.

The study was done by positioning dots around the outer boundaries of objects, forming stimuli similar to silhouettes. The dots were shown, in successive pairs, one pair after the other, and the observers were then asked to identify each shape. Recognition was best if time intervals that separated pairs and pair members were in the submillisecond range. This was true whether both members of the pair were displayed on the same side of the object or on opposite sides. “This finding suggests that the responses from the two sides of the retina are being linked in some manner, and the process of joining the two halves of an object is not done only in the brain,” says Greene.

... more about:
»Cell »Greene »Hemisphere »Retina »responses

“It is unlikely that the nerve signal being sent from the eye to the brain can be precise enough to preserve submillisecond timing differences,” says Greene. Also, for the brain to coordinate nerve signals being sent from opposite sides of the retina, communication between the two hemispheres would be needed. “It strains credulity that these additional processing steps could be accomplished while preserving submillisecond precision in the responses to pair members,” Greene says. He thinks it is more likely that cell structures in the retina link the responses prior to sending the information to the visual cortex. The retina itself may be assessing global relationships among boundary locations, these operations being required for recognition of the shape.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plos.org/
http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000871

Further reports about: Cell Greene Hemisphere Retina responses

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>