A patient who is technically blind, having suffered damage to the areas of the brain that process visual signals, has been able to react to certain visual signals. The case, described in this week’s online edition of Nature Neuroscience (Nature Neuroscience advance online publication, 12.12.02 at www.nature.com/neuro/) establishes beyond doubt, for the first time, that certain specific ‘visual recognition’ functions are processed in an area of the brain other than those normally associated with visual processing.
When ‘Patient x’, who is technically blind, reports that he ‘sees’ only darkness and walks with the aid of a white cane, was shown images of shapes such as circles and square, faces and unrecognisably jumbled faces, his guesses would be correct with no more than random frequency. However, when ‘patient x’ was shown faces displaying emotions such as happiness, anger, fear or sadness, his guesses as to whether the faces were happy or displaying a negative emotion registered well above the levels of chance.
This led Dr Alan Pegna, of the University of Wales, Bangor’s School of Psychology, with research colleagues at Bangor and Geneva University Hospital, to establish that emotion displayed on a human face is registered in an area other than the visual cortex. The area involved was identified as the right amygdala, an almond-shape structure situated deep within the brain’s temporal lobe.
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Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
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