August 2012
Volume 12, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2012
The effects of aging on GABAergic mechanisms and their influence on visual perception
Author Affiliations
  • Patrick J. Bennett
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour McMaster University
  • Allison B. Sekuler
    Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour McMaster University
Journal of Vision August 2012, Vol.12, 1404. doi:10.1167/12.9.1404
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      Patrick J. Bennett, Allison B. Sekuler; The effects of aging on GABAergic mechanisms and their influence on visual perception. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):1404. doi: 10.1167/12.9.1404.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

The functional properties of visual mechanisms, such as the tuning properties of visual cortical neurons, are thought to emerge from an interaction among excitatory and inhibitory neural mechanisms. Hence, changing the balance between excitation and inhibition should lead, at least in some cases, to measurable changes in these mechanisms and, presumably, visual perception. Recent evidence suggests that aging is associated with changes in GABAergic signaling (Leventhal et al., 2003; Pinto et al., 2010), however it remains unclear how these changes manifest themselves in performance in psychophysical tasks. Specifically, some psychophysical studies (Betts et al., 2005; Wilson et al., 2011), but not all, are consistent with the idea that certain aspects of age-related changes in vision are caused by a reduction in the effectiveness of cortical inhibitory circuits. In my talk I will review the evidence showing that aging is related to changes in GABAergic mechanisms and the challenges associated with linking such changes to psychophysical performance.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012

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