The results of the study can help people who have lost vision or hearing
Ukrainian scientist-neuropathic Anton Filipchuk made a major scientific discovery.
As it became known “Today”, in the prestigious journal “Nature Communications” published the results of a study conducted by scientists in collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of neurosciences of Alicante (Spain).
The discovery is that the brains of mice (and therefore, probably, and people) “knows” about the presence of defects of vision or other senses even before birth, and therefore able to start the compensation mechanisms before the first contact with the outside world.
“We know that people who lost their vision or hearing at birth or at a very early age, have the ability to develop those sensory, which remained intact. For example, loss of vision, patients have an increased tactile and auditory sensitivity. The physiological and anatomical level, this plasticity is manifested in the increase in the area of cerebral cortex responsible for sensations intact. That is, patients who have lost vision at birth, have a greater auditory and somatosensory cortex, and reduced visual. Despite the knowledge of the phenomenon, little is known about the physiological and molecular mechanisms that implement it”, – explained Anton Filipchuk.
Until recently, neuroscience was based on the postulate that the development of areas of the cerebral cortex that are responsible for senses – sight, hearing and tactile sensation occurs after birth in interaction with the environment.
“We proved that in fact, sensory adaptation occurs even before birth, and thus, is a process that does not depend on sensory experience. We have shown that this process occurs in the thalamus region of the brain, which receives information from the senses on the way to the cerebral cortex,” the scientist said.
Scientists discovered the phenomenon of spontaneous embryonic “calcium waves” – of the signals transmitted between the sensory nuclei of the thalamus. “These calcium waves that reflect synchronized and simultaneous electrical activity of large number of neurons, regulating the expression of genes necessary for the normal development of sensory systems. In the case when one of the sensory systems was corrupted even before birth, the calcium wave in the thalamus changed its structure, starting the process of cerebral adaptation intact sensation even before the first sensory experience (before birth)”, – adds Anton Filipchuk.
Anton Filipchuk is a graduate of the Lyceum of information technologies at the Dnepropetrovsk state University. In 2006 he received the diploma of the Physical faculty of the BOTTOM, and 6 years ago – Ph.D at the University of Marseille (France). Over the last 4 years studying the embryonic development of sensory systems in Spain.
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