Vision around the clock
Our lab uses the visual system as a model to understand mechanisms of flexibility in neural circuits, physiology and behaviour
Vision runs on a daily schedule. As the light environment changes around us, cells and circuits in the visual system must adjust how they detect, process and interpret visual information. Our lab aims to understand how endogenous biological clocks enable this process. We are interested in identifying circadian specialisations in cells and circuits in the retina and brain, and understanding the consequences of circadian disruption on vision. To achieve this, we combine in vivo and ex vivo multichannel electrophysiology with modern approaches for circuit tracing/manipulation in rodents. By using both nocturnal and diurnal laboratory rodents, we are also learning how the visual ecology and light-history of an animal shapes the behaviour of visual cells and circuits.
Our interests also lie in understanding how visual display technologies can be re-designed to gain control of distinct photoreceptors, in particular, the novel photopigment melanopsin. Our research has shown how a new type of visual display can be used to both optimise visual experience, and regulate the subconscious effects of light over the course of the day.