November 02 2012
While progress has been made towards creating artificial or biological replacement eye’s for blind patients, how the brain responds to an implanted structure is unknown. Dr. Blackiston used techniques in an aquatic frog species to create additional, fully functional, eyes along the body of the organism. These eyes confer vision to the frogs, even if they are located far from the head of the individual. His current work examines how ectopic eyes communicate with the brain, including cases where the two are not directly connected. Results from Dr. Blackiston's studies are helping to shed light on many fundamental questions regarding nervous system plasticity in vertebrates, and will be valuable in the continuing search for treatments to human sensory disorders.