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Vision Loss Impacts Cerebral Cortex
vision lossResearchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum found that genetic vision loss impacts the organization of the cerebral cortex and memory ability. The research, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, shows that in the months after blindness emerged in mice with a genetic defect, the density of neurotransmitter receptors required for memory encoding was altered in all areas of the cortex that process sensory information. What’s more, the hippocampus was profoundly affected; it is an area of the brain that plays a significant role in memory processes.

"After blindness occurs, the brain tries to compensate for the loss by ramping up its sensitivity to the missing visual signals," explains Denise Manahan-Vaughan, who led the study. “Our study shows that this process of reorganization is supported by extensive changes in the expression and function of key neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. This is a major undertaking, during which time the hippocampus' ability to store spatial experiences is hampered."

                                                               
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