Mark DubinProfessor Emeritus
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1969
Neurobiology; cognitive neuroscience; use of Virtual Reality in brain rehabilitation.
The nerve cells in the brain are capable of changing their connections as a function of experience, a phenomenon called plasticity. Plasticity is especially strong in newborns and young animals, a process that I previously studied for many years in the cat visual system. In the last decade, a variety of new techniques have demonstrated that the adult brain is still capable of significant plasticity. My current work deals with this adult plasticity.
An unfortunately large number of people have closed-head injuries from falls, car accidents and the like. The resultant Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is often underestimated because there is no obvious wound. However, numerous interconnections within the brain are damaged by such injuries leading to perceptual problems as well as to malfunction of memory, attention and other higher order functions. Similar problems result from strokes.
New therapeutic techniques provide evidence that if the damaged brain is exercised by specifically designed tasks the formation of new connections can be facilitated, and take over part of the loss due to a brain injury. This can be thought of as a kind of directed plasticity.
The University recently acquired a fully-immersive Virtual Reality facility. It is a 12' by 12' by 12' room that can display a wide variety of virtual environments. With various collaborators, I am experimenting with the use of this facility to provide richly structured, dynamic virtual environments for rehabilitation after TBI and stroke.
Non-uniform postnatal growth of the cat retina.
Mastronarde, DN, Thibeault, MA, and Dubin, MW J Comp Neurol, 228(4):598-608. 1984
Prior activity influences the velocity of impulses in frog and cat optic nerve fibers.
George, SA, Mastronarde, DN, and Dubin, MW Brain Res, 304(1):121-6. 1984
Anatomy of the retina of the mink (Mustela vison).
Dubin, MW and Turner, L J Comp Neurol, 173(2):275-88. 1977
The occurrence of actinlike filaments in association with migrating pigment granules in frog retinal pigment epithelium.
Murray, RL and Dubin, MW J Cell Biol, 64(3):705-10. 1975
The physical properties of bovine corneal collagen.
Lewis, MS, Dubin, MW, and Aandahl, VA Exp Eye Res, 6(1):57-69. 1967