PI: Geoffrey Aguirre
Institution: University of Pennsylvania

One striking feature of the human visual system is the retinotopic organization of the primary visual cortex and the pathways connected to these cortical regions. The correspondence between the topography of the retina and visual cortex offers a great opportunity for localized mapping of retina disease on the integrity of cortical regions and visual pathways. For this purpose, this NEI-funded HCLV project will collect neuroimaging and optical measurements from a large cohort of 180 patients and 80 normal controls to study the visual pathway connectome in low vision and blinding diseases. TR&D3 leader Dr. Shi and Dr. Aguirre are both co-PIs on this NEI-funded connectome project and have been collaborating since 2015. In this collaborative project, Drs. Shi and Aguirre will develop novel validation methods for the intrinsic surface mapping methods that Dr. Shi will develop in TR&D3. They will also apply the validated surface mapping algorithm to construct a more accurate retinotopic atlas of visual cortex. The novel multimodal surface mapping algorithms developed in TR&D3 will also enable the accurate transfer the retinotopic atlas to low vision patients. These novel mapping tools and atlases will be highly valuable for mapping the connectomes of the human visual system and its changes due to retinal diseases.