Mar 142006
 

A team of neuroscientists and bioengineers from MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Center for Biomedical Engineering have been able to partially restore the vision of rodents whose visual neural pathways had been severed by injecting them with a tiny, biodegradable substrate on which brain cells were able to regrow and reconnect. The research marks the first time that nanotechnology has been used to heal a damaged brain region and restore lost functionality. The results could lead to major advancements in the treatment of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and strokes.

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Jan 202006
 

It happens automatically and so quickly that most people probably never question the process of vision. Although it starts with the eyes, the majority of the work is performed in stages by cooperating layers of neural regions in the brain. As such, the underlying mechanism behind seeing and recognizing objects has long been of interest to neuroscientists. A team of researchers from The Johns Hopkins University’s Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute have published a report in a recent issue of the journal Neuron describing the advances they have made towards understanding the process.

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Dec 092005
 

Although there have been many advances in machine vision, most relatively simple robots are still not able to maneuver around objects at high speeds because they are unable to quickly judge their distance from the objects. In order to tackle this problem researchers from Stanford University have developed a new algorithm that many said was impossible: it will allow robots to calculate distances from a single, still image. The algorithm was developed by a team led by computer science Assistant Professor Andrew Ng and was presented at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference held in Vancouver this week.

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Nov 052005
 
Visual Neural Patterns

source: Poggio/DiCarlo Labs

MIT has published a news release about how neuroscientists in the McGovern Institute for Brain Research have recently made significant advances in their attempts to learn how the inferotemporal (IT) cortex identifies and categorizes visual data. The ability to visually recognize objects, while usually taken for granted because it happens quickly, automatically, and subconsciously, is actually a complex problem for the brain to solve. This research provides some insight into how the brain encodes, formats and saves visual information.

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Nov 012005
 

The Human Eye

LiveScience.com has a summary of a study published this week in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that provides additional evidence of the phenomenon known as blindsight, residual visual sensitivity experienced in the brain even when one is blind or otherwise unable to see. While the results of the study seem to conclusively support the existence of the phenomenon, they also exacerbate the fact that there is still relatively little known about the mechanisms of human consciousness, or in this case, unconsciousness.

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