When we understand how vision works in mice, we will have a better idea of how we ourselves see and how we can be conscious of our environment
The microstructure of the cerebal cortex is remarkably similar and conserved across mammalian species. Width, lamination, neuronal cell types, connectivity, all show some species differences, but the overarching picture is one of similarity. That the same structure excels in interpreting speech, touch, vision and many other types of sensory information, suggests a circuit with amazingly adaptive information processing prowess. This has been known and appreciated for more than a century, but in the last few years the introduction of optical tools to observe and manipulate the thinking brain is promising to bring much better understanding of this marvelous structure. We are using electrophysiology, optogenetics, structural imaging, intrinsic signal imaging and calcium imaging to study the circuitry and function of mouse visual cortex and its interplay with other brain areas such as the thalamus and superior colliculus.
More background is available in a interview in Dutch with Malou van Hintum.
A recent list of all publications in English can be found at Google Scholar.
Also check out: News from the lab
NMNAT Proteins that Limit Wallerian Degeneration Also Regulate Critical Period Plasticity in the Visual Cortex eNeuro 6 (2019) Download