What is so special about vision?

We are visual animals. More than one fourth of our cerebral cortex is sensitive primarily to visual stimulation and the long research interest has made it the best-known cortical system. Lesions of this system may severely reduce the quality of life, but sometimes significant lesions go unnoticed due to inherent efficiency of the system, dynamical rerouting of information, adaptation and plasticity. We are implementing computational models into spiking network simulations, with the aim to better understand the relation between cortical computation and visual physiology. Given the relatively advanced models of vision, this work can provide insight to other cortical systems, too, and perhaps advance general artificial intelligence. Together with the basic and clinical vision research groups at the Meilahti campus, our work provides an organic environment for development of future diagnostic tools and rehabilitation therapies for neurological diseases affecting visual cortex.