Image of the Week

Eyes on the Road

  • Published14 Nov 2018
  • Reviewed14 Nov 2018
  • Author Michael W. Richardson
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN
Image of an optical nerve, pictured in green
Partida, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2018.

In order to see, electrical signals need to journey from the retina to the parts of the brain responsible for higher visual processing. That’s the job of fibers in the optic nerve, pictured here in cyan, surrounded by non-neuronal cells in magenta. This nerve is the superhighway between the eye and brain, quickly carrying along information to be transformed into your sense of vision. But this highway has some stoplights. Rather than acting as a passive river of information, enzymes — in this case, pCaMKII — help regulate the speed at which signals travel along the nerve. Regulating these signals is a key part of the balancing acts that build and tune circuits of the brain.

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BrainFacts/SfN

Partida, G. J., Fasoli, A., Iseppe, A. F., Ogata, G., Johnson, J. S., Thambiaiyah, V., . . . Ishida, A. T. (2018). Autophosphorylated CaMKII Facilitates Spike Propagation in Rat Optic Nerve. The Journal of Neuroscience,38(37), 8087-8105. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.0078-18.2018