UW Madison research says some brains blind to moving objects

Published: Sep. 28, 2016 at 9:25 PM CDT
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A group of psychology researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison discovered a breakthrough with those who have blindness to motion. In the journal published Wednesday, Madison psychology Professor Bas Rokers says blind motion comes from a failure inside the brain, and not the eyes.

"We generally believe that people see with their eyes, but that's not the whole story," Rokers says. "This is really important because ultimately what we want to do is to treat people with visual disorders."

The UW Madison researchers collaborated with people in The Netherlands, together they held thousands of trials monitoring the subjects eye patterns with binocular cues.

“You can use that change in position to tell the direction the object must have moved,” Rokers says. “Inter-ocular velocity difference works the same way, but compares the speed of the object as it moves across each retina. They will be different, and that’s enough for the brain to judge motion.”

Rokers says the research is not just about the science, it is about helping people.

"What we want to do is understand what happens so there we can treat better with kids who before wouldn't be able to see very well but now, can see better."

The research made it possible to pin point problem areas in the brain, in order to find a more direct solution.