A No-brainer? Mouse Eyes Constrict to Light Without Direct Link to the Brain
Experimenting with mice, neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine report new evidence that the eye’s iris in many lower mammals directly senses light and causes the pupil to constrict without involving the brain. In a report, the researchers detail how the pupils in a mouse’s eyes get smaller when the animal is moved from a dark to a lit room even when the nerve connections between the animal’s brain and eyes are severed. Their findings prove that mouse eyes have a photosensitive function built directly into the ring of sphincter muscle surrounding the pupil. The mammalian eye adapts to changing light conditions by constricting or enlarging the pupil. That action, referred to as pupillary light reflex, is controlled by opposing dilator and sphincter muscles in the iris. “The traditional view of this reflex is that light triggers nerve signals traveling from the eye’s retina to the brain, thereby activating returning nerve signals, relayed by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, that make the sphincter muscle contract and constrict the pupil,” says King-Wai Yau, PhD, a neuroscientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an author of the report.
Click here to read more.
INS 14th World Congress
May 25-30, 2019; Sydney
12th Annual Cervical Spine Research Society Hands-on Cadaver Course
May 30-June 1, 2019; St. Louis
Brain Tumor Biotech Summit
June 7, 2019; New York
Minimally Invasive Cranial Neurosurgery: Recent Technical Advances With Hands-On Laboratory
June 7-8, 2019; New York
The 25th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM 2019)
June 9-13, 2019; Rome