Research Highlights | Published:


Prism of the eye guides light

Nature volume 511, page 267 (17 July 2014) | Download Citation


A group of cells in the retina splits white light and channels specific wavelengths to light sensors to improve daytime vision.

Amichai Labin, Ido Perlman and their colleagues at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa used a computer model to study the role of Müller cells, which funnel light towards light-sensitive cells in the human retina.

The team found that Müller cells concentrate green and red light onto the daytime-light-sensing cones, increasing by up to ten times the amount of light they absorb than if Müller cells were absent. Blue light, however, leaks out of Müller cells towards rod cells, which enable night vision. Imaging experiments on isolated guinea-pig retinas largely confirmed the model's results.

The findings could explain how light is able to travel efficiently through various cellular layers in the retina to reach the cone cells.

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