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Short-Wavelength Light Sensitivity of Circadian, Pupillary, and Visual Awareness in Humans Lacking an Outer Retina

Zaidi, F.H., Hull, J.T., Peirson, StuartN., Wulff, K., Aeschbach, D., Gooley, J.J., Brainard, GeorgeC., Gregory-Evans, K., Rizzo III, JosephF., Czeisler, C.A. , Foster, RussellG., Moseley, M.J. and Lockley, S.W. (2007) Short-Wavelength Light Sensitivity of Circadian, Pupillary, and Visual Awareness in Humans Lacking an Outer Retina Current Biology, 17 (24). pp. 2122-2128.

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Abstract

As the ear has dual functions for audition and balance, the eye has a dual role in detecting light for a wide range of behavioral and physiological functions separate from sight [1-11]. These responses are driven primarily by stimulation of photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) that are most sensitive to short-wavelength (�480 nm) blue light and remain functional in the absence of rods and cones [8-10]. We examined the spectral sensitivity of non-image-forming responses in two profoundly blind subjects lacking functional rods and cones (one male, 56 yr old; one female, 87 yr old). In the male subject, we found that short-wavelength light preferentially suppressed melatonin, reset the circadian pacemaker, and directly enhanced alertness compared to 555 nm exposure, which is the peak sensitivity of the photopic visual system. In an action spectrum for pupillary constriction, the female subject exhibited a peak spectral sensitivity (λmax) of 480 nm, matching that of the pRGCs but not that of the rods and cones. This subject was also able to correctly report a threshold short-wavelength stimulus (�480 nm) but not other wavelengths. Collectively these data show that pRGCs contribute to both circadian physiology and rudimentary visual awareness in humans and challenge the assumption that rod- and cone-based photoreception mediate all "visual" responses to light. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Zaidi, F.H.
Hull, J.T.
Peirson, StuartN.
Wulff, K.
Aeschbach, D.
Gooley, J.J.
Brainard, GeorgeC.
Gregory-Evans, K.
Rizzo III, JosephF.
Czeisler, C.A.
Foster, RussellG.
Moseley, M.J.
Lockley, S.W.s.lockley@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 2007
DOI : 10.1016/j.cub.2007.11.034
Uncontrolled Keywords : HUMDISEASE, aged, article, awareness, blindness, case report, circadian rhythm, congenital malformation, female, human, light, male, middle aged, pathophysiology, physiology, pupil reflex, retina, retina ganglion cell, Aged, 80 and over, Awareness, Blindness, Circadian Rhythm, Female, Humans, Light, Male, Middle Aged, Reflex, Pupillary, Retina, Retinal Ganglion Cells
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 17 Jun 2020 01:56
Last Modified : 17 Jun 2020 01:56
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/857934

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