Biologists at UC San Diego have recently conducted a detailed study of the neurons linking the eyes and the brains of mice hoping to discover how much our perceptions of the outside world are processed in the cortex. In other words, they were looking to determine how much the eyes tell the brain about the content of the outside world.

​The researchers discovered that the ability of our brains to figure out and process directional movements is a result of the activation in the cortex of signals that originate from cells in the retina of our eyes. Until now, the function of these direction-sensing cells in the retina has been a mystery. This study provides the first direct link between these cells and the cortex, which raises the idea that humans know which direction things are moving specifically because of the activation of these retinal neurons.

​This link between direction-sensing cells in the retina and the cortex has practical implications for possible treatment of disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia, due to their effects on direction-oriented skills. In other words, the more we understand the cells and neural circuits involved in sensing directional motion, the more we could understand defects in motion processing.

​Read more about this study at ScienceDaily.