The Eyes are Amazing!

The eyes are amazing. They do so many things that many of us take for granted. Even today they hold surprises for scientists!

A new study out in late April from Northwestern University has discovered the eyes communicate with the brain through more than one type of signaling pathway, disproving the decades long belief that retinal neurons communicate exclusively through excitatory signaling.

The Northwestern University researchers also discovered this subset of neurons is also involved in subconscious behaviors, such as synchronization of circadian rhythms to light and dark cycles, among other things.  By better understanding how these neurons function, researchers can explore new pathways by which light influences our behavior.

The research will be published in the May 1 issue of the journal Science.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwestern University. Original written by Amanda Morris. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Takuma Sonoda, Jennifer Y. Li, Nikolas W. Hayes, Jonathan C. Chan, Yudai Okabe, Stephane Belin, Homaira Nawabi, Tiffany M. Schmidt. A non-canonical inhibitory circuit dampens behavioral sensitivity to light. Science, 2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.aay3152

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