Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MIT IDs binocular vision gene

14.09.2007
Research could lead to treatments for some visual disorders

In work that could lead to new treatments for sensory disorders in which people experience the strange phenomena of seeing better with one eye covered, MIT researchers report that they have identified the gene responsible for binocular vision.

Unlike horses and eagles, whose eyes on the sides of their heads provide two different scenes, humans see a single, in-depth view. Now researchers from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT have identified the gene responsible for melding images from two eyes into one useful picture in the brain.

The work, which appeared in the Sept. 4 issue of the Public Library of Science (PloS) Biology and in the journal Cerebral Cortex, shows that a novel gene is necessary for binocular vision.

... more about:
»Binocular »Ten_m3 »Visual »projection

"There are other instances in the brain where two different inputs have to be properly aligned and matched-such as auditory and visual projections to the midbrain that enable us to orient to sound," said lead author Mriganka Sur, Sherman Fairchild Professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Institute and head of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. "This is the first study to pinpoint a gene with this kind of job."

Two points of view
Binocular vision allows us to perceive depth and carry out detailed visual processing. The images projected by each eye are aligned and matched up in brain regions called the visual thalamus and cortex.

The MIT researchers discovered that the genes Ten_m3 and Bcl6 have a key role in the early development of brain pathways for vision and touch. Ten_m3 appears to be critical for the brain to make sense of the two disparate images from each eye.

In mice that had the Ten_m3 gene knocked out, projections from their two eyes were mismatched in their brains. Because each eye's projection suppresses the other, the mice were blind, even though their eyes worked normally.

Remarkably, the researchers found that when the output of one eye was blocked at a molecular level, the knockout mice could see again. With one eye's conflicting input shut down, the other eye was able to function, though only with monocular vision.

"This is an amazing instance of 'gain of function' that proves immediately that the gene is directly responsible for creating matched projections from the two eyes," Sur said.

Human disorders in which the Ten_m family of genes is affected are often accompanied by visual deficits. "There are reports of human visual conditions in which simply closing one eye allows a person to see much better," Sur said. "We believe that genes such as Ten_m3 are at the heart of these disorders."

Co-authors include Catherine A. Learney, former MIT postdoctoral associate now at the University of Sydney; Atomu Sawatari, Kelly A. Glendining, Sam Merlin, Paul Lattouf and Natasha Demel of the University of Sydney; MIT affiliates Gabriel Kreiman, Kuan H. Wang and Ning-Dong Kang; Reinhard Fassler and Xiaohong Zhou of the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany; and Susumu Tonegawa, Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at MIT.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Simons Foundation and Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council.

Elizabeth A. Thomson | MIT News Office
Further information:
http://www.mit.edu

Further reports about: Binocular Ten_m3 Visual projection

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

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 “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>