C2D2 research 1a - Understanding human visual cortical connectivity in health and chronic disease

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details

Layman's description

This project will draw on local expertise in analysing Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and apply it specifically to the human visual system. Specifically the project will investigate how the spatial pattern of brain connections in the visual cortex changes during development as well as in subjects rendered blind by disease of the eye. The aim is to answer these important scientific questions at the same time as creating a new, freely-available scientific tool that will empower the larger community of neuroimagers at York to perform cutting edge research in the future.

Key findings

We have found a conservation of the pattern of connectivity in the visual cortex of patients with age-related macular degeneration. This work will presented at the European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP). A manuscript has been submitted and our hope is that it will be published by the end of 2015.

This work has strengthened collaborations between the Universities of York and Groningen. The work has also generated interest from Prof Ione Fine at the University of Washington and Prof Stephen Engel at the University of Minnesota, who would both like to collaborate. These collaborations have since flourished with Fine spending her sabbatical at York and Morland, Wade and Baseler now have an EU ITN grant led by a researcher (Cornelissen) at Groningen.

Koen Haak was employed for 6 months and went on to a two year contract with Prof Stephen Engel at the University of Minnesota. Prof Engel will visit the UK in 2013-14 and intends to collaborate with us. Since then, Haak now has a longer term position in the Donders Institute, Netherlands.


A Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship was submitted and work specified in the ITN bid (details in PURE) also stemmed from the work funded by C2D2.

2013 ECVP - 'Retinotopy of the cortical lesion projection zone in macular degeneration' Cornellisen, Haak and Morland.
Effective start/end date1/03/1230/09/12