Your visual cortex keeps maturing and may get better as you age

Kathy Murphy, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, and her team have found that the part of the brain responsible for processing visual signals continues to develop until you are in your late 30s or early 40s. Previously the visual cortex was thought to mature and stabilize within the first few years of life. These findings may have implications for treatments conditions such as amblyopia or “lazy eye”, where it was thought only children could benefit from interventions.

The study used post-mortem brain-tissue samples from 30 people ranging in age from 20 days to 80 years. The research appears in The Journal of Neuroscience.

Congratulations to latest Ontario Early Research Award holder

Heisz Kin headshotJennifer Heisz, Kinesiology, is one of seven McMaster researchers to receive Early Researcher Awards from the Province of Ontario. The awards are designed to help recently appointed researchers – those having held a full-time faculty appointment for fewer than five years – build their research teams. Heisz’s project, “Brain health in aging: Understanding how exercise promotes brain function to reduce the risk of dementia,” has the potential to create lasting impacts and contribute to healthy aging.

New Killam Fellow to study how stars form

Christine Wilson, Physics & Astronomy, has been awarded a prestigious Killam Fellowship, one of six scholars to receive the award this year. The Fellowship supports full teaching and administrative release to allow researchers to pursue independent research. Wilson will be studying dense gas and starformation in galaxies to answer important questions about how stars develop. Deborah Cook, Faculty of Health Sciences, also received a Killam Fellowship this year. Both researchers are also Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs and Distinguished University Professors.

 

Maureen MacDonald begins term as Dean of Science

The Faculty welcomes Maureen J. MacDonald, Kinesiology, as the Dean of Science. Dr. MacDonald begins her term as of May 1, 2017. An accomplished professor and respected researcher, she most recently served as the inaugural Director of the Faculty’s School of Interdisciplinary Science. More information on her appointment can be found here.
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