Media contact: Savannah Koplon
School of Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been awarded an F32 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the relationship between neuronal orientation and color selectivity in the primary visual cortex, which could help people with visual deficits. This is the school’s first F32 grant in 20 years.Michael Savage, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow in the
The grant is for three years, totaling $136,823. His research is focused on understanding how the basic building blocks of vision are organized in the brain. The goal is to produce a cell-by-cell map for the functional configuration of the primary visual cortex, which processes information about static and moving objects, among other things. Understanding this basic research could lead to innovations and treatments to help people with visual deficits.
“This is a good example of very basic research,” Savage said. “We need to understand this organization because we know that, later in the visual system, sensitivity to color and form may be processed separately; but we don’t yet know how this is accomplished. Ultimately, we need to know this if we want to help those with visual deficits that are located in the cerebral cortex of the brain.”
His supervisors for this research are Lawrence Sincich, Ph.D., a professor within the School of Optometry, and Paul Gamlin, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Medicine at UAB.