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Does melanopsin mediate seasonal neuroplasticity in starlings ?

Light is an important environmental factor driving many functions in animal physiology. There are two systems for detecting light in animals i) The classical visual system for image formation (IF) and ii) The Non-image-forming (NIF) visual circuit. NIF in mammals is mediated by melanopsin containing intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglionic cells and innervates brain regions regulating sleep, circadian functions, cognition etc. We hypothesize that the NIF circuit mediates the light's influence in neuroplasticity of seasonal songbirds. To test this, we use European starling's which shows extensive neuroplasticity in response to seasons, in vivo MRI and molecular biology techniques.
Date:1 Oct 2018  →  Today
Disciplines:Animal biology, General biology, Veterinary medicine