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Amthor Vision Research Lab

Retinal circuitry highlighted in different colors. The Vision Research Lab of Dr. Frank Amthor is engaged in the following main goals:

Determine, through physiological recording and anatomical and pharmacological analysis, how the normal retina functions, including:

  • How does retinal circuitry produce 25 or more classes of ganglion cell outputs within two synpses of phototransduction?
  • Where do different ganglion cell classes project in the brain, and what visual functions do they mediate?

What changes occur in the retinal circuitry as a result of:

  • Eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy?
  • Central nervous system degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and depression?
  • Can examination of retinal responsiveness be used as an assay for the development of these neural disorders and the effectiveness of treatments undertaken?

Dr. Amthor working in his lab. What can be done for patients who have lost, through eye disease or injury, a significant portion of their vision?

  • The problem of navigation in people with low vision might be alleviated with sensory substitution aids that use haptic or audio measurements to locate key features of the environment during movement.
  • Retinal implants using microelectrode arrays or other kinds of stimulation may be able to drive retinal ganglion cells when photoreceptors have degenerated in diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.