HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Research shows how visual stimulation turns up genes to shape the brain

BOSTON--Scientists have long known that brains need neural activity to mature and that sensory input is most important during a specific window of time called the "critical period" when the brain is primed for aggressive learning. Vision, hearing and touch all develop during such critical periods, while other senses, such as the olfactory system, maintain lifelong plasticity. The visual system provides an exemplary model for studying developmental plasticity, however, because of the pioneering work of Nobel prize-winning HMS researchers David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel describing the visual system's structure, prerequisite knowledge for investigating its flexibility. Although visual plasticity has been studied for over 40 years, exactly how sensory experience interacts with the built-in machinery that permits the brain to change its circuits is only beginning to be understood.

A new study focusing on the molecular roots of plasticity has found that visual stimulus turns up the expression of some genes and turns down the expression of others, somewhat like a conductor cueing the members of an orchestra. The study also found that during different stages of life in rodents, distinct sets of genes spring into action in response to visual input. These gene sets may work in concert to allow synapses and neural circuits to respond to visual activity and shape the brain, reports the May issue of Nature Neuroscience.

The investigators' identification of many distinct sets of activity-dependent genes follows a shift in neuroscience research toward a more holistic view of the role of genes in neural development and plasticity. "What we found opens science up to a more global look at genes, from studying one gene at a time to looking at families of genes acting together," said first author Marta Majdan, HMS research fellow in neurobiology. These findings suggest that genetic therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, some of which are largely limited to treatmen
'"/>

Contact: Judith Montminy
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
5-May-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Gilbert Foundation and American Fed for Aging Research award grants on Alzheimers disease
2. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
3. Research aims to identify markers for menopausal women at risk for deadly blood clot
4. Research team enlightens the reasons for severe blindness
5. Research teams uncover risk genes for multiple sclerosis
6. Research shows NPD1 protects a key component of vision
7. Researchers find pathway that controls cell size and division
8. Researchers watch antibiotics, bacteria meet at atomic level
9. Researchers discover gene responsible for Restless Legs Syndrome
10. Research study describes the role part of the brain plays in memory
11. NY Stem Cell Foundations 2nd Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Research shows how visual stimulation turns genes shape the brain

(Date:8/19/2014)... treat pain, but its effect on pain following ... recent study reported on the Neural Regeneration ... models of an avulsion injury to the left ... pain) were given electroacupuncture stimulation at bilateral Quchi ... After electroacupuncture therapy, chronic neuropathic pain in the ...
(Date:8/19/2014)... forms, they have not been widely used due to ... the University of Surrey and Trinity College Dublin have ... graphene, to create a flexible sensor that is sensitive ... , Once treated, the rubber bands remain highly ... imparts an electromechanical response on movement the team ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... , August 19, 2014 ... biometric authentication in smart devices  Trustonic, ... for smart devices, and Fingerprint Cards AB (FPC) ... of FIDO Ready™ secure biometric authentication on connected ... touch fingerprint sensors (FPC1020, FPC1021 and FPC1150) and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Trustonic and Fingerprint Cards Collaborate to Bring Secure Biometrics to Connected Devices 2Trustonic and Fingerprint Cards Collaborate to Bring Secure Biometrics to Connected Devices 3Trustonic and Fingerprint Cards Collaborate to Bring Secure Biometrics to Connected Devices 4
(Date:8/18/2014)... , Aug. 18, 2014 BioElectronics ... advanced consumer medical devices said that its ... interviewed by CEOLIVE.TV as part of its ... interview is available at http://ceolive.tv/bioelectronics-corp-otc-biel/biel-videos/2282-ceolive-tv-interview-bioelectronics-corp-otcqb-biel ... explains to investors the unique advantages of ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... HIV Infection Drug Market and Pipeline Insight is a ... infection and the number of deaths due to AIDS has ... the globe. It has been estimated that the death rate ... with the rates for children being even much lower. A ... has been the improved access to antiretroviral drugs and therapy ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... 2014 TNI BioTech, Inc. (OTC-BB: TNIB) ("we" ... and marketing of innovative therapies for autoimmune diseases in ... a second notice of TNI BioTech,s annual meeting of ... Noreen Griffin , founder and CEO of TNI ... participation in the Annual Meeting. On behalf of our ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... , 18. August 2014 Vier ... eine internationale klinische Studie auf, in der ... Linse soll das Sehvermögen bei allen Entfernungen ... Operation möglicherweise keine Lese- oder Gleitsichtbrille mehr ... Namen FluidVision Accommodating Intraocular Lens ...
Breaking Biology Technology:BioElectronics EVP Dr. Deepak Kotak Interviewed on CEO Live 2BioElectronics EVP Dr. Deepak Kotak Interviewed on CEO Live 3Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 2Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 3Global HIV Infection Drug Market Overview 4TNI BioTech Inc., provides 2nd Notice of Annual Meeting September 4, 2014 2TNI BioTech Inc., provides 2nd Notice of Annual Meeting September 4, 2014 3TNI BioTech Inc., provides 2nd Notice of Annual Meeting September 4, 2014 4Implantation einer revolutionären akkommodativen Linse bei Katarakt-Patienten in deutschen Augenzentren im Rahmen einer internationalen klinischen Studie 2Implantation einer revolutionären akkommodativen Linse bei Katarakt-Patienten in deutschen Augenzentren im Rahmen einer internationalen klinischen Studie 3Implantation einer revolutionären akkommodativen Linse bei Katarakt-Patienten in deutschen Augenzentren im Rahmen einer internationalen klinischen Studie 4
Cached News: