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  1. Moving Jumping Spider Retinas

    We’ve talked about jumping spiders before here on Webvision as they are an amazing animal with very well developed vision.  However, their retinas and visual pathways are very different from the vertebrate retinas in that they use image defocusing for depth perception rather than parallax like humans and other vertebrates do.  Figuring out spider vision has […]

    Jul 13, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  2. Benham’s Top Illusion

    Benham’s Top or Benham’s disk is named after Charles Benham, a toy maker but also an amateur scientist who contributed and published articles to the likes of Nature.  Benham’s observation with a toy top was relayed through an article in Nature in 1894 that described a visual phenomenon generated by a toy top painted like […]

    Jul 9, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  3. Moran Eye Center Researcher Robert E. Marc: 2014 Paul Kayser Award In Retina Research

    Our colleague and Director of Research at the University of Utah‘s Moran Eye Center, Robert E. Marc, Ph.D. has been named by the International Society for Eye Research as a recipient of the Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research.  The award will be presented to Dr. Marc during the 2014 ISER Biennial Meeting of […]

    Jun 25, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  4. The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter’s Smile

    “Once her belief was sanctified by science, her sight got better and better…” I first read about blindsight back in high school, reading an essay by Oliver Sacks and was absolutely intrigued by the thought of seeing without sight. Now there is a wonderful vignette on NPR by Lulu Miller that talks about blindsight (be sure to listen to […]

    May 27, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  5. The Judgment Of Solomon

    I had the honor and privilege of attending a Lasker/IRRF Initiative’s plenary session on Restoring Vision to the Blind at Janelia Farm last month where Mr. Sanford D. Greenberg delivered an emotional and inspiring story of a time in his life where he lost his vision during his junior year at Columbia University.  The prospect of […]

    May 15, 2014 — Read more 2 Comments
  6. What You See Is What You Get?

    Dwayne Godwin (@BrainyActs) a professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at Wake Forest University posted this fun comic on how visual systems work.  It is one of many, really excellent comics he publishes on the nervous system.  See more on his Tumbler page here.

    May 12, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  7. Eye Exams On A Smartphone

    Andrew Bastawrous shares with TED a wonderful example of using smartphone technology to screen vision in remote parts of the world, bringing eye care to some of the 39 million people in the world who are blind.

    May 1, 2014 — Read more 1 Comment
  8. Ask A Scientist: What Is An Optical Illusion?

    Friend of Webvision, Matt McMahon from the National Eye Institute talks about retinal illusions in this little YouTube video.

    Apr 10, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  9. Notes On Blindness

    “In 1983, after years of deteriorating vision, John Hull went completely blind. For the next three years he kept a diary on audiocassette. This film is a dramatization using his original recordings.”

    Mar 19, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  10. Interesting Article: Mechanism of RPE Cell Death in α-Crystallin Deficient Mice: A Novel and Critical Role for MRP1-Mediated GSH Efflux

    I ran across an interesting paper in PLOS One published back in March of 2012 by Parameswaran G. Sreekumar, Christine Spee, Stephen J. Ryan, Susan P. C. Cole, Ram Kannan and David R. Hinton.  This manuscript looks at a mechanism of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell death with notable findings identifying therapeutic targets for disorders that involve the RPE cells. The […]

    Feb 9, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  11. Interesting Report: Ocular Manifestation of Electrical Burn

    An interesting report in the New England Journal of Medicine describes electrical burns to the eyes of a 42-year old electrician which caused star-shaped cataracts to form in the lenses.  The electrical burn resulted from the gentleman’s shoulder coming into contact with 14,000 volts.  Lens replacement helped mediate some of the vision deficit, but there […]

    Jan 29, 2014 — Read more No Comments
  12. Notable Paper: Ras Pathway Inhibition Prevents Neovascularization By Repressing Endothelial Cell Sprouting

    A new manuscript in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (on the cover) by Peter D. Westenskow, Toshihide Kurihara, Edith Aguilar, Elizabeth L. Scheppke, Stacey K. Moreno, Carli Wittgrove, Valentina Marchetti, Iacovos P. Michael, Sudarshan Anand, Andras Nagy, David Cheresh and Martin Friedlander at The Scripps Research Institute describes a new technique for treating aberrant growth of blood vessels in […]

    Nov 20, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  13. Wavelengths Of Light From Our Sun

    The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has assembled a high resolution image showing the spectrum of our Sun from 296 to 1300nm.  Its interesting to note that visual systems on planet Earth have evolved to detect wavelengths of light given off by our sun and those wavelengths are solar specific.  Other stars radiate different wavelengths, but I’d […]

    Oct 3, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  14. Interesting: Gene Regulator, Onecut1 Important To Retinal Development And Integrity

    This paper, Onecut1 Is Essential for Horizontal Cell Genesis and Retinal Integrity in the Journal of Neuroscience by authors Fuguo Wu, Renzhong Li, Yumiko Umino, Tadeusz J. Kaczynski, Darshan Sapkota, Shengguo Li, Mengqing Xiang, Steven J. Fliesler, David M. Sherry, Maureen Gannon, Eduardo Solessio, and Xiuqian Mu describes the gene regulator Onecut1 as being the key to healthy retinal […]

    Oct 2, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  15. Notable paper: Lhx2 Balances Progenitor Maintenance With Neurogenic Output And Promotes Competence State Progression In The Developing Retina

    The Levine lab here at the Moran Eye Center has a new publication out in the Journal of Neuroscience and even scored the cover.  Specifically, the manuscript was authored by Patrick J. Gordon, Sanghee Yun, Anna M. Clark, Edwin S. Monuki, L. Charles Murtaugh, and Edward M. Levine.  The Levine team explored how multipotent retinal progenitor cells […]

    Jul 29, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  16. Science Applications of Animated .gif Files

    The animated image above is a sequence of abstracted neuronal images from brain visual cortex that I originally posted here.  The images are from neurons labeled with different probes, though that is not important for the discussion here.  What is relevant is that I’ve been wondering why science does not more widely implement animated GIFS to explain and represent […]

    Jul 25, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  17. Astronaut Chris Hadfield Explains How Sight Changes In Space

    I ran across this interesting vignette from Astronaut Cmdr. Hadfield (his Twitter account here) on how sight changes in space including the flattening of eyeballs, swelling around the optic nerve and the random flashes of light seen by astronauts.

    Jun 14, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  18. The Cilium

    With the exception of a few types of cells, (acinar cells, T lymphocytes and hepatocytes), every cell in your body has a cilia.  In the vision community, we are used to seeing these structures in the distal portion of the photoreceptors.  The reality is that every cell in the retina has a cilium and some cells […]

    Jun 7, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  19. New Webvision Chapter: Evolution of Phototransduction, Vertebrate Photoreceptors and Retina

    After much work by a number of our contributors, not the least of whom is the author of this particular effort, we have a spectacular new addition to Webvision:  A section on the Evolution of Phototransduction, Vertebrate Photoreceptors and Retina by Trevor D. Lamb.  Be sure to check it out and let us know what you […]

    May 15, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  20. Interesting paper: Characterization Of Neurite Outgrowth And Ectopic Synaptogenesis In Response To Photoreceptor Dysfunction

    Authors Stylianos Michalakis, Karin Schäferhoff, Isabella Spiwoks-Becker, Nawal Zabouri, Susanne Koch, Fred Koch, Michael Bonin, Martin Biel, and Silke Haverkamp have a new paper out that looks at the earliest gene microarray analysis results associated with neurite outgrowth in the degenerate retina.  The title is a overly broad, but the results focusing on gene expression changes […]

    Apr 26, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  21. Building Retinal Connectomes

    There has been quite a bit of discussion of connectomes in the last while with President Obama’s new BRAIN initiative.  It is important to consider some of the requirements of obtaining a true synapse level wiring map in the brain as many are articulating from this initiative.  While there are new technologies that will be […]

    Apr 22, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  22. What Do Whales See?

    This beautiful article in The Atlantic by Alexis Madrigal talks about the eyes of cetaceans or whales and has some beautiful imagery from photographer Bryant Austin.  More importantly, the article asks: “So, what does the world look like to a whale?” which is a fundamental question in comparative anatomy. The really unusual thing about this article […]

    Apr 9, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  23. Interesting Paper: Precedence Of The Eye Region In Neural Processing Of Faces

    Just seeing an eye… and only the eye is enough to establish the first components of neural facial recognition.  In this interesting paper by Elias B. Issa and James J. DiCarlo, the authors found using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that the first stage in the primate visual/face processing circuitry is tuned […]

    Apr 8, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  24. Interesting Paper: Looking Inside A Trilobite Eye

    Trilobites were one of the most successful marine arthropods that lived from the Early Cambrian throughout the Devonian, finally going extinct in the Permian ages, a run of over 270 million years.  They are well represented in the fossil record and even the earliest forms had complex compound eyes much like modern arthropods.  These eyes […]

    Mar 21, 2013 — Read more No Comments
  25. Interesting papers: Light and vision in the deep-sea benthos

    Vision in fishes and crustaceans is a fascinating and understudied area.  In past decades, there were far more studies on the visual systems of sea-dwelling creatures, but with the push towards applied or translational research, the number of reports in these species have dropped off, much to our detriment as one never knows where the […]

    Mar 17, 2013 — Read more No Comments