How the brain processes color and motion provides new understanding of attention

Despite the barrage of visual information the brain receives, it retains a remarkable ability to focus on important and relevant items. This fall, for example, NFL quarterbacks will be rewarded handsomely for how well they can focus their attention on color and motion – being able to quickly judge the jersey colors of teammates and opponents and where they’re headed is a valuable skill. How the brain accomplishes this feat, however, has been poorly understood. Continue reading

A LENS THAT CAN DISPENSE GLAUCOMA DRUGS

A team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (US), have come up with a contact lense that dispenses controlled amounts of a glaucoma drug. The researchers claim that the lens delivers more consistent dosages than traditional eye drops.

Bioengineer and leader of the research team, Dr Dean Ho, said they aimed to make a daily-wear hydrogel contact lens that could release the drug throughout the day.

Eye drops often leak out of the eye and ‘arrive’ in one high-concentrated burst that quickly tapers off, making dosages inconsistent.

The team used nonodiamond gel to create the lens. The gel breaks down and releases the drug when it comes in contact with lysozyme, an enzyme in tears. The lens steadily releases the drug for 24 hours. After 48 hours, the drug release became less consistent. However, noted the researchers, this did not concern patients because the lens is replaced daily.

The researchers now plan to test the contact lenses in animals and will experiment with adjusting the timing of the drug release to test whether it will have any clinical benefits. “20Twenty”

Study shows how brain maps develop to help us perceive the world

Driving to work becomes routine–but could you drive the entire way in reverse gear? Humans, like many animals, are accustomed to seeing objects pass behind us as we go forward. Moving backwards feels unnatural.

In a new study, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) reveal that moving forward actually trains the brain to perceive the world normally. The findings also show that the relationship between neurons in the eye and the brain is more complicated than previously thought–in fact, the order in which we see things could help the brain calibrate how we perceive time, as well as the objects around us. Continue reading