In an article published on medicalnewstoday called “New neural pathway identified in eyes that aids in vision”, a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers has discovered that a type of retina cell plays a more critical role in vision.
Working with mice, the scientists found that the ipRGCs – an atypical type of photoreceptor in the retina – help detect contrast between light and dark, a crucial element in the formation of visual images. The key to the discovery is the fact that the cells express melanopsin, a type of photopigment that undergoes a chemical change when it absorbs light.
The Johns Hopkins team along with other scientists conducted several experiments with mice and found that when melanopin was present in the retinal ganglion cells, the mice were better able to see contrast in a Y-shaped maze, known as the visual water task test.
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