The Bourne Group are focused on visual neuroscience with a particular emphasis on development, plasticity and repair following injury.

The group is interested in the pathways, mechanisms and factors, at both a cellular and system level, that underlie how the brain processes our rich visual environment.

Cell-to-system approach provides great insights as to how the primate visual cortex has evolved to possess over multiple functionally unique areas, each with clearly defined boundaries.


The group has begun to understand the mechanism of neuroplasticity in the developing visual brain and how this innate plasticity could aid rehabilitation from a brain injury.

To this end, model of stroke in the visual cortex of a nonhuman primate brain has been developed. The model provides insight into the mechanisms by which the neocortex, a part of the brain that contains the visual cortex, lacks the capacity to repair or regenerate itself, especially in later life.

A diverse range of techniques is employed to tackle the many questions that are being addressed. The cellular aspect of our studies includes using cultures of cells and organ tissues, in situ hybridisation, and RNA expression profiling. 

The knowledge garnered of the cellular level mechanisms explains how they translate to the function of the visual system. To investigate at the system level, anatomical tracing is routinely undertaken, live in vivo imaging, electrophysiology, MRI imaging of neural pathways, and behavioural studies.

Further understanding of visual system neurobiology will identify mechanisms that are relevant, not only for normal brain visual function but for possible future repair and functional recovery of adult brains following an injury.

  • Development, plasticity and repair following injury
  • The pathways, mechanisms and factors that allow the brain to process a rich visual environment 
  • Mechanisms by which the neocortex lacks the capacity to repair or regenerate itself
  • Cultures of cells and organ tissues, in situ hybridisation, and RNA expression profiling

Highlight publications

Published In

Hendrickson A, Possin D, Kwan WC, Huang J, Bourne JA.

The temporal profile of retinal cell genesis in the marmoset monkey.

J Comp Neurol. 2016 Apr 15;524(6):1193-207. doi: 10.1002/cne.23897. Epub 2015 Sep 28. Impact Factor: 3.225 Ranking: 5/153

Bridge H, Leopold DA, Bourne JA.

Adaptive Pulvinar Circuitry Supports Visual Cognition.

Trends Cogn Sci. 2016 Feb;20(2):146-57. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Nov 6.

Mundinano IC, Kwan WC, Bourne JA.

Mapping the mosaic sequence of primate visual cortical development.

Front Neuroanat. 2015 Oct 20;9:132. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00132. eCollection 2015. Impact Factor: 3.544 Ranking: 3/21.

Jackson J, Canty AJ, Huang L, De Paola V.

Laser-Mediated Microlesions in Mouse Neocortex to Investigate Neuronal Degeneration and Regeneration.

Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2015 Oct 1;73:2.24.1-17. doi: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0224s73.

Warner CE, Kwan WC, Wright D, Johnston LA, Egan GF, Bourne JA.

Preservation of vision by the pulvinar following early-life primary visual cortex lesions.

Curr Biol. 2015 Feb 16;25(4):424-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.028. Epub 2015 Jan 15. Impact Factor: 9.571 Ranking: 15/289.

Hendrickson A, Warner CE, Possin D, Huang J, Kwan WC, Bourne JA.

Retrograde transneuronal degeneration in the retina and lateral geniculate nucleus of the V1 lesioned marmoset monkey.

Brain Struct Funct Jan 2015;220(1):351-360. doi: 10.1007/s00429-013-0659-7. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Homman-Ludiye J, Bourne JA.

The guidance molecule Semaphorin3A is differentially involved in the arealization of the mouse and primate neocortex.

Cereb Cortex. 2014 Nov;24(11):2884-98. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht141. Epub 2013 May 24.

Merson TD, Bourne JA.

Endogenous neurogenesis following ischaemic brain injury: insights for therapeutic strategies.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;56:4-19. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2014.08.003. Epub 2014 Aug 14.

Teo L, Bourne JA.

A reproducible and translatable model of focal ischema in the visual cortex of infant and adult marmoset monkeys.

Brain Path 2014 Sept;24(5):459-474. doi: 10.1111/bpa.12129. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Goldshmit Y, Homman-Ludiye J, Bourne JA.

EphA4 is associated with multiple cell types in the marmoset monkey primary visual cortex throughout the lifespan.

Eur J Neurosci. 2014 May;39(9):1419-28. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12514. Epub 2014 Mar 11.