Monday, April 21, 2014
Cancelled - CNS Seminar
Neural circuits for sensing directional motion
Andrew Huberman, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego
Two fundamental aspects to vision are i) the ability to stabilize images on the retina and ii) to determine which direction objects are moving within the visual field. Direction selective neurons were discovered in the retina and in the cortex more than 50 years ago but how these cell types contribute to sensing of directional motion has remained a mystery.
Our lab uses genetic tools to identify specific populations of direction selective retinal neurons in mouse. We then combine those approaches with trans-synaptic viral circuit mapping and in vivo imaging to understand where and how direction-tuned neurons in the periphery route that information in the brain. I will also describe progress using genetic tools to probe for the existence of direction sensing cells and circuits in the primate visual system.
Currently, we are exploring how convergence of directional information transforms visual signals along the neuraxis to influence perception and behavior. Our data thus far suggest two parallel direction sensing streams, both of which encode motion of dark and light edges but that each rely on information from distinct retinal output channels and brain centers.