January 20, 2020
Research team at Virginia Tech

The Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC research team included Ubadah Sabbagh, Rachana Somaiya, Jianmin Su, and Michael Fox, pictured above. Image credit: Virginia Tech.

Long before a baby opens its eyes for the first time, the brain is ready to start decoding visual stimuli. In a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC neuroscientists reveal a surprising clue about how this intricate visual processing system forms during early brain development. This discovery shows for the first time that retinal cells recruit astrocytes to facilitate growth in visual processing brain regions.