My project is looking into the contributions of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) which contain the photopigment melanopsin to visual and non-visual responses to light. I currently have two active projects addressing this research question:
1. Brainbow in the mouse dLGN
Aim: to classify the subtyes and retinal spatial organisation of ipRGCs projecting to the mouse dLGN.
This work is to improve our understanding of the diversity in function of ipRGC subtypes and their varying contribution to image-forming vision.
To achieve this we inject retrograde viruses that express the multi-labelling Brainbow fluorescent casettes into the mouse dLGN. We harvest the retinas and amplify the signal with immunohistochemistry before imaging by confocal miroscopy and rendering of the cells in 3D using a semi-automated software developed in house.
Techniques: in vivo, Brainbow, confocal microscopy, immunohistochemistry, histology
2. The effects of screen lighting on human performance
Aim: To determine the short-term effects of variation in screen lighting conditions on human performance during mild daytime usage
There is growing public concern on the negative effects of screen lighting on the body clock. As a result more and more people are modifying their screen parameters to try to minimise these effects. Whilst there exist a variety of device applications that also have this goal. However there is little research into what consequences such manipulations have on human performance. This study aims to fill that gap whilst subsequently improving our understanding of the contribution of each photoreceptor to these responses.
To achieve this we are in the process of developing tasks to assess human performance to be presented on our five-primary display, some of which are in the form of a game. We plan to present these tasks to participants on our visual display whilst varying screen lighting conditions and measuring the affect on human memory, attention and visual search.
Techniques: psychophysics, task programming, performance measurements, real-world