Using optogenetics, researchers stimulated neurons in the visual cortex of mice to induce illusory images in the animals' minds.
Visual responsiveness in the somatosensory cortex diminishes significantly following mirror therapy for phantom limb pain. Before therapy, researchers discovered a strong, unexpected activation in the sensorimotor foot region of amputees to visually presented images of the foot. This response was no longer present following mirror therapy.
Following surgery, the brains of children with epilepsy are able to remap and compensate for damaged areas of the visual cortex. The findings shed light on brain plasticity.
Using non-invasive transcranial direct current stimulation to target the left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex improves memory retrieval.
Transcranial random noise stimulation (tRNS) helps boost visual learning in patients with chronic cortical blindness, leading to a recovery in motion processing within 10 days of exposure. The effects of the tRNS treatment appear to last for at least six months.
Researchers are developing a new brain-to-brain communication headset that will allow the transfer of visual information from those with sight to the blind. The non-invasive system will 'write' information to neurons reprogrammed to fire in response to magnetic signals.
Optical illusions are helping researchers better understand attention and visual perception. Findings suggest attention operates periodically on the perceptual binding of visual information.