Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

The Changing Brain

06/13/2003 9:00 AM 3-170
Mark Bear, Director, Picower Institute,Picower Professor of Neuroscience; The Picower Center for Learning and Memory;

Description: How do our right and left eyes take in two separate streams of visual information and end up with a single view of the world? This question has come under intense scrutiny from neuroscientists for decades, and Mark Bear brings us up to date in his lecture. Single neurons in the visual cortex respond to particular stimuli (such as direction or color) and then the brain does some fancy filtering to process only the stimuli that match up in both eyes. Bear describes breakthrough experiments where researchers closed the eye of a kitten for just a day or so, and found that it was effectively "blind" after it opened. Correlating visual information to produce binocular images depends on neural connections that are forged during a "critical period" of visual cortex development. Bear's work with visual system neurotransmitters has turned up intriguing connections to conditions like Fragile X syndrome. This form of mental retardation may result from a similar loss of neural connections during a parallel critical period after birth.

About the Speaker(s): Before his arrival at MIT, Dr. Bear was on the faculty of Brown University School of Medicine for seventeen years. After receiving his B.S. degree from Duke University, he earned his Ph.D. degree in neurobiology at Brown. He took postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and from Leon Cooper at Brown. His honors include young investigator awards from the Office of Naval Research and the Society for Neuroscience. He is a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Neuroscience Research Program at the Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, California.

Host(s): School of Science, School of Science

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated over 1 year ago

Created
December 12, 2011 17:59
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
3397 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

How Democracy Resolves Conflict in Difficult Games

How Democracy Resolves Conflict in ...

Added 5 years ago | 01:03:00 | 5306 views

The Emergence of a "Renewable Feedstock-Based" Chemical Industry

The Emergence of a "Renewable Feeds...

Added 5 years ago | 01:00:00 | 4622 views

From Space to Energy: Changing the World. For Good.

From Space to Energy: Changing the ...

Added 5 years ago | 00:55:20 | 5416 views

MIT Files Brief in Supreme Court on University of Michigan Affirmative Action Case

MIT Files Brief in Supreme Court on...

Added 5 years ago | 00:26:31 | 3933 views

Animal Models of Cancer

Animal Models of Cancer

Added 5 years ago | 01:05:00 | 4187 views

Values"Based Leadership

Values"Based Leadership

Added 5 years ago | 00:56:49 | 18335 views