Visual science is the model system for neuroscience, its findings relevant to all other areas. This essential reference to contemporary visual neuroscience covers the extraordinary range of the field today, from molecules and cell assemblies to systems and therapies. It provides a state-of-the art companion to the earlier book The Visual Neurosciences (MIT Press, 2003). This volume covers the dramatic advances made in the last decade, offering new topics, new authors, and new chapters.
The notion that neurons in the living brain can change in response to experience—a phenomenon known as "plasticity"—has become a major conceptual issue in neuroscience research as well as a practical focus for the fields of neural rehabilitation and neurodegenerative disease. Early work dealt with the plasticity of the developing brain and demonstrated the critical role played by sensory experience in normal development.
Recent years have seen a burst of studies on the mouse eye and visual system, fueled in large part by the relatively recent ability to produce mice with precisely defined changes in gene sequence. Mouse models have contributed to a wide range of scientific breakthroughs for a number of ocular and neurological diseases and have allowed researchers to address fundamental issues that were difficult to approach with other experimental models.