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The eye – a window to the brain

Prof. Dr. Heinz Wässle, emer. Direktor, Max-Planck-Institue for Brain Research

Podcast (Internet Explorer | Flash-Version)

The eye is our most important sense organ and our window to the world. The retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye, transforms images into electrical signals that are carried to the brain by the optical nerve. However, the retina itself is also a part of the brain, has a simple construction, contains well-described nerve cells and synapses and can therefore serve as a model of the much more complicated brain cortex. Also in this sense, the eye is a window to the brain. In his talk, Prof. Heinz Wässle, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, showed how the retina processes images and what we can learn from this about the function of the brain.

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