The Bourne group have garnered an international reputation for being at the forefront of visual neuroscience with a particular emphasis on development, plasticity and repair following injury.

The cereal cortex of an adult is an intricate system of interconnected areas. How these areas emerge seamlessly and establish connections with other parts of the brain has yet to be determined. 


The main focus of the group is to study the development and maturation of the cerebral cortex in primates and other mammals.

The group explore, at a cellular and system level, how the brain processes the environment, which is rich with visual information. 

This approach provides the team with insights into how the primate visual cortex has evolved to possess multiple functionally unique areas, each with clearly defined boundaries.

Further understanding of visual system neurobiology will result in not only understanding how visual function works in a normal brain, but also in in the repair and functional recovery of adult brains following an injury like stroke. 

Bourne group photo
  • The development and maturation of the cerebral cortex of primates and other mammals, with a focus towards the visual cortex, which is responsible for visual perception and visual guidance of behaviour
  • Clarifying the functional bases of disturbances of visual perception that emerge as a consequence of perinatal lesions 
  • How the mechanism of neuroplasticity could aid in brain injury rehabilitation
  • Using cultures of cells and organ tissues in situ hybridisation and RNA expression profiling.

Featured Publications

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Mundinano IC, Flecknell PA, Bourne JA.

Nat Protoc. 2016 Jul;11(7):1299-308. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.076. Epub 2016 Jun 23.MRI-guided stereotaxic brain surgery in the infant and adult common marmoset.

Nat Protoc. 2016 Jul;11(7):1299-308. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2016.076. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Huang L, Merson TD, Bourne JA.

In vivo whole brain, cellular and molecular imaging in nonhuman primate models of neuropathology.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Jul;66:104-18. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 May 2.

Price N, Bourne J, Rosa M.

Animal research: Australians rush to reject primate bill.

Nature. 2016 Mar 3;531(7592):35. doi: 10.1038/531035c.

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.