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How do Circadian Rhythms Influence Vision?
Circadian rhythms are fluctuations in biological process that occur on a daily basis. These rhythms provide a selective advantage to organisms by allowing them to anticipate regular changes in their environment that occur as the day progresses. The daily, solar cycle of light and darkness is generally considered to be the most powerful entrainment stimulus. The retina is a remarkably rhythmic tissue, with many cellular, biochemical, and physiological processes expressed in a circadian fashion. It is generally accepted that these retinal circadian rhythms allow the organism to anticipate and cope with the more than 1 million-fold change in light intensity from night to day and to optimize visual function for each intensity. The functioning and the role of the retinal circadian clock in mediating retinal physiology is the focus of the research in my laboratory.
Kenkichi Baba, Ph.D.
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