Researchers, using a powerful microscope and mice, are studying the neural circuit in hopes of learning more about the retina’s ability to sense motion and create artificial retinas for the blind.
Scientists have discovered a cell in mice called an amacrine cell that is key in detection motion. It is thought that the amacrine cell “tamps down” the activity of other cells in the retina so as not to overload the brain with information and distort an image. This discovery of motion detecting cells furthers the knowledge of how the eye senses motion and provides greater detail needed to develop artificial retinas to restore vision and light sensing.
While this study began in our furry hero mice, the applications for other mammals and even humans give hope to blindness sufferers like my mother to one day have new retinas and restored vision. Thank you mice!