NS 219 Unconscious Light Perception and Innate Behaviors

Module: 3
Sponsoring Program: Neuroscience
Administrator: Lucita Nacionales

Course Number: NS 219
Course Name: Unconscious Light Perception and Innate Behaviors
Units: 3
Grading Option: S/U
Course Director: David Copenhagen

Additional Course Director(s):
Room Number: SN-438, Sandler Builing
Campus: Mission Bay
Schedule: May 12-28; TTh; 3-5, 2-4
Prerequisites: none
Maximum Class Size: 12

Course Description: Biological actions of light that are independent of canonical rod-, cone-mediated photoreception. A central focus of the course will be on photoreception by the recently discovered system of photoreceptors that utilize melanopsin as a photopigment. The course will cover transduction mechanisms, control of non-image forming visual functions such as pupillary constriction and photoentrainment of circadian rhythms, and behavioral manifestations such melanopsin-mediated actions in seasonal affective disorders and photophobia. Newly discovered examples of light driven behavior driven by non-conventional photoreceptive systems in invertebrates will be covered. We will compare these novel photoreceptor systems to conventional rod and cone systems.