Visual Network Formation and Function: From Basic Mechanisms to Behaviour
Brain function relies on the efficient processing of sensory information which requires the formation and interaction of sensory maps in different areas. Vision is the prevailing sense in several species including humans and any damage to the retina or the optic nerve impairs the transfer of the visual information to the brain and therefore affects vision. Visual information, carried by the optic nerve is processed in different brain structures, among them the superior colliculus. This multi-layered midbrain area is conserved through Evolution and is involved in visual attention by integrating multi-sensory inputs. Our work focuses on the mechanisms governing the formation of the visual inputs/network into the superior colliculus, the effect of injuries (neurodegenerative diseases/trauma) on visual connectivity and subsequent visually-driven behaviour.
We believe this integrated view of visual system development and function will provide answers as to how vision develops and works in normal and pathological contexts and what can be done to restore/preserve vision and related behavior in neurodegenerative eye diseases or brain injury.