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Annual Review of Vision Science

Christopher Witzel, Karl R Gegenfurtner
Color has been scientifically investigated by linking color appearance to colorimetric measurements of the light that enters the eye. However, the main purpose of color perception is not to determine the properties of incident light, but to aid the visual perception of objects and materials in our environment. We review the state of the art on object colors, color constancy, and color categories to gain insight into the functional aspects of color perception. The common ground between these areas of research is that color appearance is tightly linked to the identification of objects and materials and the communication across observers...
July 13, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Eyal Seidemann, Wilson S Geisler
A long-term goal of visual neuroscience is to develop and test quantitative models that account for the moment-by-moment relationship between neural responses in early visual cortex and human performance in natural visual tasks. This review focuses on efforts to address this goal by measuring and perturbing the activity of primary visual cortex (V1) neurons while nonhuman primates perform demanding, well-controlled visual tasks. We start by describing a conceptual approach-the decoder linking model (DLM) framework-in which candidate decoding models take neural responses as input and generate predicted behavior as output...
July 5, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Ione Fine, Ji-Min Park
Early blindness causes fundamental alterations of neural function across more than 25% of cortex-changes that span the gamut from metabolism to behavior and collectively represent one of the most dramatic examples of plasticity in the human brain. The goal of this review is to describe how the remarkable behavioral and neuroanatomical compensations demonstrated by blind individuals provide insights into the extent, mechanisms, and limits of human brain plasticity. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Vision Science Volume 4 is September 15, 2018...
July 5, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Helen H Yang, Thomas R Clandinin
Motion in the visual world provides critical information to guide the behavior of sighted animals. Furthermore, as visual motion estimation requires comparisons of signals across inputs and over time, it represents a paradigmatic and generalizable neural computation. Focusing on the Drosophila visual system, where an explosion of technological advances has recently accelerated experimental progress, we review our understanding of how, algorithmically and mechanistically, motion signals are first computed. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Vision Science Volume 4 is September 15, 2018...
June 27, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Yaoda Xu
Visual information processing contains two opposite needs. There is both a need to comprehend the richness of the visual world and a need to extract only pertinent visual information to guide thoughts and behavior at a given moment. I argue that these two aspects of visual processing are mediated by two complementary visual systems in the primate brain-specifically, the occipitotemporal cortex (OTC) and the posterior parietal cortex (PPC). The role of OTC in visual processing has been documented extensively by decades of neuroscience research...
June 27, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Serge O Dumoulin, Tomas Knapen
Receptive fields are a core property of cortical organization. Modern neuroimaging allows routine access to visual population receptive fields (pRFs), enabling investigations of clinical disorders. Yet how the underlying neural circuitry operates is controversial. The controversy surrounds observations that measurements of pRFs can change in healthy adults as well as in patients with a range of ophthalmological and neurological disorders. The debate relates to the balance between plasticity and stability of the underlying neural circuitry...
June 11, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Thomas A Reh, Robert Hindges
The small RNA regulatory molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in the development of most organisms. The expression of many different miRNAs has been described in the developing and mature vertebrate retina. The ability of miRNAs to regulate a diversity of messenger RNA targets allows them to have effects on many different developmental processes, but the functions of only a few miRNAs have been documented to date. Developmental transitions between cell states appear to be particularly sensitive to miRNA loss of function, as evidenced by specific miRNA knockdowns or from global perturbations in miRNA levels (e...
June 11, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
John O'Brien, Stewart A Bloomfield
Electrical synaptic transmission via gap junctions underlies direct and rapid neuronal communication in the central nervous system. The diversity of functional roles played by electrical synapses is perhaps best exemplified in the vertebrate retina in which gap junctions are expressed by each of the five major neuronal types. These junctions are highly plastic; they are dynamically regulated by ambient illumination and circadian rhythms acting through light-activated neuromodulators. The networks formed by electrically coupled neurons provide plastic, reconfigurable circuits positioned to play key and diverse roles in the transmission and processing of visual information at every retinal level...
June 11, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
William N Grimes, Adree Songco-Aguas, Fred Rieke
We know a good deal about the operation of the retina when either rod or cone photoreceptors provide the dominant input (i.e., under very dim or very bright conditions). However, we know much less about how the retina operates when rods and cones are coactive (i.e., under intermediate lighting conditions, such as dusk). Such mesopic conditions span 20-30% of the light levels over which vision operates and encompass many situations in which vision is essential (e.g., driving at night). These lighting conditions are challenging because rod and cone signals differ substantially: Rod responses are nearing saturation, while cone responses are weak and noisy...
June 8, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Jens Kremkow, Jose-Manuel Alonso
The thalamocortical pathway is the main route of communication between the eye and the cerebral cortex. During embryonic development, thalamocortical afferents travel to L4 and are sorted by receptive field position, eye of origin, and contrast polarity (i.e., preference for light or dark stimuli). In primates and carnivores, this sorting involves numerous afferents, most of which sample a limited region of the binocular field. Devoting abundant thalamocortical resources to process a limited visual field has a clear advantage: It allows many stimulus combinations to be sampled at each spatial location...
June 1, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Jianhua Cang, Elise Savier, Jad Barchini, Xiaorong Liu
The superior colliculus (SC) is the most prominent visual center in mice. Studies over the past decade have greatly advanced our understanding of the function, organization, and development of the mouse SC, which has rapidly become a popular model in vision research. These studies have described the diverse and cell-type-specific visual response properties in the mouse SC, revealed their laminar and topographic organizations, and linked the mouse SC and downstream pathways with visually guided behaviors. Here, we summarize these findings, compare them with the rich literature of SC studies in other species, and highlight important gaps and exciting future directions...
May 31, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Sean M Silverman, Wai T Wong
Microglia, the primary resident immune cell type, constitute a key population of glia in the retina. Recent evidence indicates that microglia play significant functional roles in the retina at different life stages. During development, retinal microglia regulate neuronal survival by exerting trophic influences and influencing programmed cell death. During adulthood, ramified microglia in the plexiform layers interact closely with synapses to maintain synaptic structure and function that underlie the retina's electrophysiological response to light...
May 31, 2018: Annual Review of Vision Science
Arthur Planul, Deniz Dalkara
One of the great advantages of the retina as a target tissue for gene delivery is the wide array of genetic tools that have been developed in the past decade. This includes a variety of vectors for therapeutic gene delivery to most types of retinal neurons and glia, as well as cell type-specific promoters for restricted gene expression in distinct neuronal subtypes. Within the scope of neuroscience applications and for gene therapy, it is now routine to express reporter genes, replacement genes, neuronal activity indicators, and microbial opsins in specific neuronal types in the mouse retina...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Rohit C Khanna, Srinivas Marmamula, Gullapalli N Rao
Globally, 32.4 million individuals are blind and 191 million have moderate or severe visual impairment (MSVI); 80% of cases of blindness and MSVI are avoidable. However, great efforts are needed to tackle blindness and MSVI, as eye care in most places is delivered in isolation from and without significant integration with general health sectors. Success stories, including control of vitamin A deficiency, onchocerciasis, and trachoma, showed that global partnerships, multisectoral collaboration, public-private partnerships, corporate philanthropy, support from nongovernmental organizations-both local and international-and governments are responsible for the success of these programs...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Jonathan D Victor, Mary M Conte, Charles F Chubb
Visual textures are a class of stimuli with properties that make them well suited for addressing general questions about visual function at the levels of behavior and neural mechanism. They have structure across multiple spatial scales, they put the focus on the inferential nature of visual processing, and they help bridge the gap between stimuli that are analytically convenient and the complex, naturalistic stimuli that have the greatest biological relevance. Key questions that are well suited for analysis via visual textures include the nature and structure of perceptual spaces, modulation of early visual processing by task, and the transformation of sensory stimuli into patterns of population activity that are relevant to perception...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
William H Bosking, Michael S Beauchamp, Daniel Yoshor
Electrical stimulation of the cerebral cortex is a powerful tool for exploring cortical function. Stimulation of early visual cortical areas is easily detected by subjects and produces simple visual percepts known as phosphenes. A device implanted in visual cortex that generates patterns of phosphenes could be used as a substitute for natural vision in blind patients. We review the possibilities and limitations of such a device, termed a visual cortical prosthetic. Currently, we can predict the location and size of phosphenes produced by stimulation of single electrodes...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Lindsey L Glickfeld, Shawn R Olsen
The brain has evolved to transform sensory information in the environment into neural representations that can be used for perception and action. Higher-order sensory cortical areas, with their increasingly complex receptive fields and integrative properties, are thought to be critical nodes for this function. This is especially true in the primate visual cortex, in which functionally specialized areas are engaged in parallel streams to support diverse computations. Recent anatomical and physiological studies of the mouse visual cortex have revealed a similarly complex network of specialized higher-order areas...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Miguel P Eckstein
The term visual attention immediately evokes the idea of limited resources, serial processing, or a zoom metaphor. But evidence has slowly accumulated that computations that take into account probabilistic relationships among visual forms and the target contribute to optimizing decisions in biological and artificial organisms, even without considering these limited-capacity processes in covert attention or even foveation. The benefits from such computations can be formalized within the framework of an ideal Bayesian observer and can be related to the classic theory of sensory cue combination in vision science and context-driven approaches to object detection in computer vision...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Lawrence K Cormack, Thaddeus B Czuba, Jonas Knöll, Alexander C Huk
The visual system must recover important properties of the external environment if its host is to survive. Because the retinae are effectively two-dimensional but the world is three-dimensional (3D), the patterns of stimulation both within and across the eyes must be used to infer the distal stimulus-the environment-in all three dimensions. Moreover, animals and elements in the environment move, which means the input contains rich temporal information. Here, in addition to reviewing the literature, we discuss how and why prior work has focused on purported isolated systems (e...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
Mohammadali Almasieh, Leonard A Levin
Glaucoma is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that frequently results in irreversible blindness. Glaucoma causes death of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and their axons in the optic nerve, resulting in visual field deficits and eventual loss of visual acuity. Glaucoma is a complex optic neuropathy, and a successful strategy for its treatment requires not only better management of known risk factors such as elevated intraocular pressure and the development of improved tools for detecting RGC injury but also treatments that address this injury (i...
September 15, 2017: Annual Review of Vision Science
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