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Measuring melanopsin function in people


Staff, Students, Alumni, Academics

The Centre for Applied Vision Research welcomes Dr Manuel Spitschan from the University of Oxford to the School of Health Sciences, City, University of London. The spectral, spatial and temporal properties of the retinal mechanisms underlying circadian phase shifting and melatonin suppression by bright light are an important area of investigation. Practical applications include the design of lighting solutions to minimize adverse effects of light at night, and optimizing lighting schedules to address circadian desynchronization due to shift work and jet lag. The photopigment melanopsin, expressed in a subset of retinal ganglion cells, rendering them intrinsically photosensitive, is thought to largely mediate these “non-image-forming” effects of light. Using the method of silent substitution, which allows for the targeted stimulation of melanopsin in humans, we have made progress in measuring and understanding the contributions of melanopsin to the pupillary light reflex and to primary visual cortex. A key focus has been on developing methods to assess the quality of isolation of melanopsin with minimal inadvertent stimulation of the cones. Future work using the silent substitution paradigm will tease apart the different photoreceptor contributions to the human circadian system.

About the speaker

Dr Manuel Spitschan obtained his first degree in Psychology from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA). After a post-doc at Stanford University (Stanford, USA), he recently joined the University of Oxford as a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology, and as Biomedical Sciences Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College. Dr Spitschan is interested in how light affects human behaviour and physiology, ranging from the pupillary light reflex to coding of spatial vision in primary visual cortex.

A light lunch with refreshments will be provided from 13:15, the talk will begin at 13:30.

For further information regarding the seminar contact Verity Sullivan

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When & where

1.15pm - 2.30pmThursday 16th November 2017

MG26 Myddelton Street Building City, University of London 1 Myddelton Street London EC1R 1UW United Kingdom

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