Summary of “Quanta Magazine”

They’re creating a single mathematical model that unites years of biological experiments and explains how the brain produces elaborate visual reproductions of the world based on scant visual information.
They’ve explained how neurons in the visual cortex interact to detect the edges of objects and changes in contrast, and now they’re working on explaining how the brain perceives the direction in which objects are moving.
Previous efforts to model human vision made wishful assumptions about the architecture of the visual cortex.
The retina is connected to the visual cortex, the part of the brain in the back of the head. However, there’s very little connectivity between the retina and the visual cortex.
For a visual area roughly one-quarter the size of a full moon, there are only about 10 nerve cells connecting the retina to the visual cortex.
LGN cells send a pulse to the visual cortex when they detect a change from dark to light, or vice versa, in their tiny section of the visual field.
For every 10 LGN neurons that snake back from the retina, there are 4,000 neurons in just the initial “Input layer” of the visual cortex – and many more in the rest of it.
All previous efforts assumed that more information travels between the retina and the cortex – an assumption that would make the visual cortex’s response to stimuli easier to explain.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Scallop Sees With Space-Age Eyes”

Earlier studies had given scientists hints that the scallop eye was weirdly complex.
Benjamin A. Palmer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and his colleagues recently used a powerful new tool known as a cryo-electron microscope to look at scallop eyes.
Researchers have long known that the mirror in a scallop eye is made from a molecule called guanine.
Dr. Palmer and his colleagues took X-rays of the scallop eyes to determine that these layers form a flat-bottomed bowl.
What’s more, the hundreds of eyes on a scallop all deliver signals to a single cluster of neurons, which may combine that information to create a rich picture of the outside world.
Dr. Palmer said that scallop eyes may provide inspirations for new inventions.
There’s certainly precedent: NASA has built X-ray detectors to study black holes that mimic lobster eyes.
Perhaps an artificial scallop eye could take pictures in dim seawater.

The orginal article.