Polymodal Sensory Integration in the Visual System

author: David Križaj, University of Utah
published: Nov. 13, 2012,   recorded: October 2012,   views: 2807

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In many, perhaps most, vertebrate species, vision represents a dominant sensory modality that is essential for orientation and communication with the outside world. An animal’s ability to perceive the external world is conditioned by its capacity to extract and encode specific features of the visual image. Thus, the output of the vertebrate retina is not a simple representation of the 2D visual map generated by photon absorptions in the photoreceptor layer but rather is transmitted as an abstract representation that emphasizes species-specific behavioral needs.

The lecture will lead us through the complex path of the visual stimuli on its way from a simple electromagnetic signal to formation of a visual representation. The recently discovered retinal mechanosensitive ion channels will be used as an example through which molecular physiology could unify Greek phenomenology, modern neuroscience and medicine.

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