Vision in the brain - hardwired for action

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Brain circuits for vision develop without any kind of input from the retina in zebrafish

Neurons in the zebrafish brain that normally receive input from the retina devel
Neurons in the zebrafish brain that normally receive input from the retina develop just fine without that input. Surprisingly, the neurons are able to drive behavior even if they have never been in touch with the visual world. Some of these neurons and their axonal connections to motor centers are depicted here. MPI f. Biological Intelligence/ Herwig Baier
Animals possess specialized networks of neurons in the brain that receive signals about the outside world from the retina and respond by initiating appropriate behavior. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence studied a genetic mutation in zebrafish that eliminates all connections between retina and brain throughout development. The team found that in these ’deep-blind’ fish the brain circuits are fully functional, as direct brain stimulation with optogenetics can drive normal visual behavior. ...
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