"Imagine you are playing ping-pong with a friend. Your friend makes a serve. Information about where and when the ball hit the table is provided by both vision and hearing. Scientists have believed that each of the senses produces an estimate relevant for the task (in this example, about the location or time of the ball's impact) and then these votes get combined subconsciously according to rules that take into account which sense is more reliable. And this is how the senses interact in how we perceive the world. However, our findings show that the senses of hearing and vision can also interact at a more basic level, before they each even produce an estimate, " says Ladan Shams, a UCLA professor of psychology, and the senior author of a new study appearing in the December issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.
Mayo Clinic researchers have identified critical steps leading to myelin destruction in neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a debilitating neurological disease that is commonly misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis (MS). The findings could lead to better care for the thousands of patients around the world with NMO. The paper was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. NMO is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that damages the optic nerves and spinal cord, causing vision loss, weakness, numbness and, sometimes, arm and leg paralysis and loss of bowel and bladder control. NMO was historically misdiagnosed as a severe variant of MS until 2005 when a team led by Vanda A. Lennon, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic research immunologist, identified an antibody unique to NMO, and discovered that its unexpected target was the major water channel of the central nervous system (aquaporin-4).
Thanks to a new study of the retina, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed a greater understanding of how the nervous system becomes wired during early development. The findings reflect the expansion of developmental neurobiology and vision research at UCSB. The work is described in a recent publication of the Journal of Neuroscience. The research team examined the connectivity of nerve cells, called neurons, in mice. Neurons communicate with one another via synapses where the dendrites and axon terminals of different cells form contacts. This is where nerve signals are transmitted from one neuron to another. Scientists have understood for some time how neuronal activation at developing synapses contributes to the patterns of connectivity observed in maturity, explained Ben Reese, senior author and professor in UCSB's Neuroscience Research Institute and the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences.
A transparent cornea is essential for vision, which is why the eye has evolved to nourish the cornea without blood vessels. But for millions of people around the world, diseases of the eye or trauma spur the growth of blood vessels and can cause blindness. A new Northwestern Medicine study has identified a gene that plays a major role in maintaining clarity of the cornea in humans and mice - and could possibly be used as gene therapy to treat diseases that cause blindness. The paper is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "We believe we've discovered the master regulator gene that prevents the formation of blood vessels in the eye and protects the clarity of the cornea, " said lead author Tsutomu Kume, associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a researcher at Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute.
A study being published Online First by the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals reveals that, 10% of patients who received a single dose of oral azithromycin ( antibiotic ) after surgery for trichiasis (a significant worldwide eye problem) experience trichiasis again compared to 13% of patients who received topical tetracycline therapy, with the protective effects apparent for up to 3 years after surgery, although not considerably different between the two medications. Trachoma is caused by infection with the Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria in the eye and accounts for an estimated 15.5% of blindness in the world. If left untreated Trachoma can lead to chronic follicular conjunctivitis ("pink-eye"), which may cause scarring of the eyelid and turned-in eyelashes rubbing against the surface of the eye.