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Researchers: Blind mouse pups prepared for sight


Both nature and nurture, we are told:

In the days before a newborn mouse opens its peepers, nerve impulses that have been sweeping randomly across the retina since birth start flowing consistently in one direction, according to a paper published in Science today (July 22). This specific pattern has a critical purpose, the authors say, helping to establish the brain circuitry to be used later in motion detection.

“I love this paper. It blew my mind,” says David Berson, who studies the visual system at Brown University and was not involved in the research. “What it implies is that evolution has built a visual system that can simulate the patterns of activity that it will see later when it’s fully mature and the eyes are open, and that [the simulated pattern] in turn shapes the development of the nervous system in a way that makes it better adapted to seeing those patterns. . . . That’s staggering.”

Ruth Williams, “Retinal Activity Prepares Blind Newborn Mice for Vision” at The Scientist (July 22, 2021)

Sure. Funny how random swishes of chemicals somehow supposedly cause this.

Are we writing a drama here or what? Like, at some point, that guy — or his audience — is supposed to “get it,” right?

I trapped and killed an invading mouse this morning, so I have a conflict of interest on the subject of miraculous mice. Even so, this is miraculous. It means that the dream scripter is practicing its craft long before there's anything to dream about. polistra
Also, when you are interesting in some related Darwinian just so stories, read something about why are some species born blind and deaf (underdeveloped) and some other species fully developed ... martin_r
Right... evolution designed a simulator ... Darwinian jokers... seriously, when this craziness will end? martin_r
Evolution: the great "builder" and designer of complex "systems" that have no bearing on survival until after they are fully developed and useful. Utter nonsense. zweston

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