Nigel Daw

in How Vision Works

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199751617
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932375 | DOI:

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There are ganglion cells in the retina with an invertebrate photopigment, melanospin, in them. They can respond in the absence of input from rods and cones, although their response is also affected by input from the rods and cones. They project to the suprachiasmatic nucleus to entrain circadian rhythms and to the olivary pretectal nucleus to affect the pupillary light reflex. The pupillary light reflex has short latency components from the rod and cone input, and long latency components from the melanopsin input. Circadian rhythms control melatonin production in the pineal and affect sleep, activity, feeding and drinking, temperature, the liver, and sex. All of these are known as the non-image-forming effects of light.

Keywords: circadian rhythms; melanopsin; suprachiasmatic nucleus; sleep; olivary pretectal nucleus

Chapter.  2914 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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