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:2/5/2015)... Feb. 3, 2015 Despite a lack ... industries such as consumer electronics, automotive, storage and ... mount technology (SMT) screen printers. Innovations in electronics ... will push the adoption curve up. Meanwhile, sale ... as glue dispensers are indispensable in the production ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Today, FindBiometrics, the leading source of ... of its new website design. "When we launched ... says Peter O,Neill , founder and CEO of FindBiometrics. ... needs involvement from the key players on a very broad ...
(Date:1/22/2015)... , Jan. 15, 2015  BellBrook Labs, a leader ... announced the launch of a TR-FRET (time resolved ... Transcreener UDP Assay, a high throughput screening assay ... assay will allow for sensitive detection of hundreds ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):End-user Demand Spurs Global SMT Screen Printers and Glue Dispensers Market 2End-user Demand Spurs Global SMT Screen Printers and Glue Dispensers Market 3Identity Industry Leading Publication Debuts New Look As Biometrics Hit Mainstream 2BellBrook Labs Launches a High Throughput Screening Assay for Glycosyltransferases with TR-FRET Readout 2
(Date:3/2/2015)... 2015 VLP Therapeutics, LLC. ("VLP"), a ... on the research and development of therapeutic and ... upon a novel and proprietary vaccine technology, today ... Grant Award from the Montgomery County Department of ... is awarded to life sciences companies in ...
(Date:3/2/2015)... , March 2, 2015 Editor ... bottom.   Moments ago, Analysts Review released ... Sunshine Heart (NASDAQ: SSH ), Synergetics ... Medical (NASDAQ: ELOS ), Spectranetics (NASDAQ: ... Review provides a single unified platform for investors, to hear ...
(Date:3/2/2015)... Global Stem Cells Group.com has ... Bioengineering Co., Ltd. and its Chinese-American founder Mingjie ... stem cells training course in the City of ... Shenzhen HANK is a biotechnology company established in ... virologist, to integrate research, development, production, and sales ...
(Date:2/27/2015)... (PRWEB) February 27, 2015 Immunovaccine Inc. ... aware of a fraudulent press release disseminated this morning ... be from Immunovaccine. This press release states that Immunovaccine ... Inc. The press release did not originate from ... contained within the press release. Please note that ...
Breaking Biology Technology:VLP Therapeutics Wins the 2015 Life Sciences Impact Grant Award from the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development 2Quarterly Report Card of Biotechnology Companies: New Research on Sunshine Heart, Synergetics USA, Syneron Medical, Spectranetics and Thoratec 2Quarterly Report Card of Biotechnology Companies: New Research on Sunshine Heart, Synergetics USA, Syneron Medical, Spectranetics and Thoratec 3Quarterly Report Card of Biotechnology Companies: New Research on Sunshine Heart, Synergetics USA, Syneron Medical, Spectranetics and Thoratec 4Global Stem Cells Group Announces Alliance with HANK Bioengineering Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, China 2Global Stem Cells Group Announces Alliance with HANK Bioengineering Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen, China 3Immunovaccine Disclaims Hoax Press Release 2
Cached News: